About This Blog

It’s possible for a complete stranger to target another at that person’s home, install him- or herself there, loiter outside of the target’s residence in the dark for months on end to indulge a twist of the mind, and then petition a restraining order from the court to shift the blame for misconduct onto its victim.

Marital infidelity and violence, besides stalking, can be concealed this way by either male or female offenders, whose appetites, once whetted, may urge them to commit further abuses of legal process over periods spanning years or decades—as well as to broaden their victim base.

Forms of restraining order abuse to retool the truth and/or demonize and punish a target of malicious fixation or revenge—whether a spouse, a boy- or girlfriend, an ex, a sibling or parent, a rival, a neighbor, or a stranger—are numerous and discredit restraining orders as instruments of protection.

Such abuses diminish, derail, and destroy lives every day.

The very phrase restraining order abuse is redundant. Millions of restraining orders are issued each year in the U.S. alone, as many as 50 to 80% of which are said to be unnecessary or grounded on false allegations. Scholars, legal lions, and journalists have challenged the value and legitimacy of restraining orders for decades.

This blog, conceived by a would-be commercial writer whose life has been preoccupied with legal conflict for many years, supplements their arguments for reform of a judicial process that’s constitutionally insupportable and annually costs this nation over $4 billion.

The author of this blog, Todd Greene, was the editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper and a Quill & Scroll honoree. He has bachelor’s degrees in Japanese and English from the University of Arizona and three years’ postgraduate credit toward a doctorate in literature dating back to the late ’90s. He had planned to be a commercial writer of children’s humor. He had also planned to complete his Ph.D. He memorializes his thwarted ambitions by blogging about abuses of and by the justice system and earns his crust as a manual laborer.


Contributions to this blog can be made here.

240 Responses “About This Blog” →

  1. Marc 106

    July 31, 2014

    After reading a lot of the material regarding “high-conflict personalities” and some of the other disorders associated I admit that my heart sank. So … apparently this type of personality disorder is common enough to not only have originally merited study and research but publication all over the web. I admit that after learning more and reading here it made my situation far less unique.

    I feel it would be interesting to see statistics that show how many of the individuals involved are “repeat offenders”. If plaintiffs are people at risk and in fear from respomdents who are acting badly (stalking, harrassing, threatening, essentially criminals) then it would seem that these respondents would show a pattern of behavior resulting in some cases multiple orders filed.

    In my own personal experience – the road to the truth about the relationship I was in and the person I cared so much for has been a painful one. No one in the end likes feeling like a fool or that they were completely swimdled emotionally and mentally. I’ve “manned up” since then and determined that it was a very tough education and to be far more careful about listening to my intuition in the future. However if we as wronged respondents are “normal people” who who encountered troubled individuals then I would think these people have a pattern.

    I’ve read statistics that claim that a very high percentage of filed restraining orders are false. It would be wonderful to know how such statistics were compiled and if so – why aren’t these high percentages of peace orders then overturned? Plaintiffs in Maryland at least never have a record that shows the peace order being filed – the respondent has the order publically on view. Nevertheless whether publically visible or not – it must be somewhere. It would be revealing to see how many plaintiffs have filed a peace order or some other similar complaint versus how many respondents have received peace orders against them more than once and in both cases of course involving different people. I’ve never had a peace order taken out against me in my life until now but I’d be willing to bet it isn’t the first time my particular plaintiff has obtained one or tried to.

    From what I read – the types of behaviors associated with “high-conflict people” and the like seem to be habitual. I didn’t read this; but it would make sense that a violent, harrassing stalker would also have a similar issue of habit. In my particular case – i have one peace order that has been filed against me in my life. I wonder if that is true with most respondents … i’m thinking that it is – but would be interested in knowing whether the same is true of plaintiffs.

    I understand there are a lot of ‘ifs’ here because I understand that there are victims out there who do not say a word when they absolutely should – those whom the system was created to protect. But it would be a very good piece of information for a lawyer to have at his disposal when protecting a respondent whether or not his accuser has ever filed similarly in the past against anyone and contrast that with the respondent’s record. And in addressing a change in legislation perhaps how many respondents were repeat order recipients versus how many plaintiffs were repeaters should be looked at,

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    • Your questions are all really good ones, Marc. RADAR (Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting) and SAVE (Stop Abusive and Violent Environments) have published a number of fairly rigorous studies on statistics related to domestic violence and restraining order prosecutions and their tolls. It’s very hard to be comprehensive, however, because there’s no “central database.” There’s always an element of surmise.

      From SAVE’s “The Use and Abuse of Domestic Restraining Orders”:

      Based on these studies, it is estimated that about 60% of the 2 to 3 million restraining orders issued annually are unnecessary or false. This translates into 1.2 to 1.8 million persons who are wrongfully accused of domestic violence each year.

      An attorney who’s written for The Huffington Post reckons that nine out of 10 domestic violence protection orders petitioned against men are fraudulent and are sought tactically (76.5%). His estimate is based not on government statistics but firsthand experience.

      Journalist Cathy Young has variously quoted statistics that place false domestic violence orders between 40% and 60%. These, also, are experience-based estimates. She’s quoted, for example, a judge, a woman who formerly ran a women’s shelter, and a judicial review panel (if memory serves).

      A study of domestic violence restraining orders issued in Campbell County, West Virginia in 2006 concluded 81% were false or “unnecessary” (frivolous).

      People who are issued restraining orders are reported to state and federal police and, in places, recorded in public registries, but tracking down complete statistics for the number of restraining orders issued, the number of restraining orders denied, and the number of restraining orders issued and then overturned is hard (to put it very mildly), and may not even be possible, because some jurisdictions may not faithfully keep tallies. And there are no statistics that necessarily indicate why restraining orders were denied or overturned. Certainly there are no records of “lying.” Lying isn’t even acknowledged by the courts. Allegations are either “preponderant,” or they’re not. Restraining orders, in other words, may be issued on evidence that judges recognize may not be completely honest. Honesty isn’t the standard. It’s just about how forceful or persuasive the sum total or tenor of the allegations is.

      I can tell you that I’ve corresponded with men who’ve reported that private investigators turned up that their accusers had previously sought restraining orders against others. I know of a woman, too, who was accused by a couple who filed a number of restraining orders against various people at the same time. The man and wife apparently recognized what convenient and potent weapons restraining orders are and went on a spree. And, of course, I’ve heard from many people who’ve had multiple restraining orders sought against them—including at the same time (in different jurisdictions). Some serial abusers apply for new restraining orders after previous applications have been dismissed as groundless. They do this over and over—even from other states. The California court system casually acknowledges on its website that petitioners may have multiple restraining orders against the same person and explains to petitioners which restraining order’s prohibitions should take precedence over the others. This kind of thing happens with the court’s awareness. It’s not public knowledge, but if you look in judicial benchbooks (rulebooks for judges), they acknowledge that there’s no statutory (legal) limit on how many restraining orders a single person can apply for. A person could make this a daily practice.

      If it weren’t heinous, it would be laughable.

      Regarding high-conflict (usually personality-disordered) people, they often have a history of blaming others but not necessarily of blaming others through court process. I grew up with someone like this (who I’ve only recognized is “someone like this” since being sensitized to character disorders), and this person has taken out a restraining order against someone else, but running to the courts hasn’t been a lifelong practice. Most of the blaming and constant criticism has been done in private, that is, passively. It’s the kind of thing that goes on behind closed doors. Kids and spouses see it; other people may never guess. Some personality-disordered people, especially narcissists and high-functioning sociopaths, are very conscious of proprieties and appearances. Narcissists may be consummate hosts and hostesses, and they’re slick as silk. They wear different faces in different contexts.

      You see the obstacles to exposure. Many or most of them may not be serial abusers of process. One good fraud, moreover, may give them all the narcissistic supply they need to sustain them indefinitely. They can nurse it for years.

      People like this are seldom diagnosed by clinicians, and so few people know what “personality disorders” are that they go undetected. High-conflict people’s empathy is diminished and their sense of injury is real to them, so they don’t scruple overmuch about lying and lying feels righteous to them. So they’re very convincing.

      That’s why they’re hellish to have to oppose in court: They’re liars and abusers who don’t think of themselves as liars and abusers.

      Because they don’t feel shame, even when they’re caught in lies, they’re defiant, which works really well.

      Friends, family members, and associates want to side with them, and in restraining order adjudications, judges just have to be persuaded that the petitioner believes his or her need is legitimate. Disturbed people do believe it (even when they know they’re lying). So they’re probably almost always successful. Narcissists, what’s more, are typically political strivers, and many come from privilege. So they have all the credentials that judges are soonest impressed with.

      In procedures that are based on impressions, they rule, because impressions are their strong suit.

      Their facility with false impressions and social manipulation, finally, is how they gulled their victims in the first place: ring around a rosy.

      To quote any number of commenters, it’s crazy-making. If this overlong reply sounds crazy, chalk it up as a confirmation.

      Your reaction, incidentally, Marc, is pretty amazing. Good for you. It takes a mighty mustering of will for most people to talk about these experiences soberly.

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    • Here are some more stats from a beautifully lucid law journal monograph on civil harassment restraining orders by Prof. Aaron Caplan that might clarify what I cited before. It might seem like only domestic violence orders are tabulated, because all references are to “domestic restraining orders” or “domestic violence restraining orders.” The truth is that distinguishing what one order alleges from what another order does is often impossible, and what an order is called can be misleading. (It’s also a noteworthy fact that violence is implicit in all allegations made in restraining order applications.)

      No single reliable source tracks the total number of civil harassment petitions in the United States. While imperfect, the available measures indicate that the volume of civil harassment litigation is large. Five states compile judicial statistics that separately enumerate civil harassment petitions…. If the five-state rate of 156 civil harassment petitions per 100,000 population held true across the 23 states with civil harassment statutes (which have a total population of approximately 140.6 million), there would be approximately 219,700 petitions filed annually.

      You see, again, how vexed this gets. This stat refers to fewer than half the states in the nation (23) and tries to distinguish harassment restraining orders from other kinds.

      In my state, Arizona, there are two types of restraining order: the “injunction against harassment” and the “protection order.” These sound distinct, but in fact determining which one is applicable to a given set of allegations depends only upon whether the plaintiff and defendant have or had a domestic relationship. You can allege that someone is a violent threat on an “injunction against harassment” just as you would on a “protection order.” The forms are the same.

      I was issued an “injunction against harassment,” which would seem to fall within the category Prof. Caplan delineates, but the application for that order indicated I was a stalker (and the applicant has freely used this word with others), and it explicitly alleged I was “a danger” to the husband of the applicant. (I had never known the applicant anywhere but at my own home, incidentally, and the husband was a man I had never been told existed and a man no one I know had ever seen or met, let alone talked about.)

      The project of tweezing out the total number of injunctions issued according to certain parameters is impossible. Restraining orders, whatever name they go by, are catchalls—as are the domestic violence, stalking, and harassment statutes they draw from. The definitions are so broad as to be meaningless (which is among Prof. Caplan’s points). The terms are applied however the courts want to apply them.

      You can “stalk” someone who’s outside of your house at night. You can be “a danger” to someone you’ve never known or spoken of. California’s restraining orders, to give you different example, stem from a domestic violence act (as do many states’), so even “harassment” allegations against someone who has no domestic relationship with the plaintiff and who isn’t even accused of violence can fall under “domestic violence.” And, of course, in most or all states, substantiation of an allegation of “domestic violence” on a civil restraining order doesn’t require proof of violence at all and may not even allege violence, per se. Allegations of domestic harassment = “domestic violence.”

      The system is as raveled as it is corrupt, because standards of adjudication are basically discretionary (freely interpretable), and definitions don’t define anything.

      Prof. Caplan summarizes the problems with the system genteelly:

      Many structural factors of civil harassment litigation lead to higher-than-usual risk of constitutional error. As with family law, civil harassment law has a way of encouraging some judges to dispense freewheeling, Solomonic justice according to their visions of proper behavior and the best interests of the parties. Judges’ legal instincts are not helped by the accelerated and abbreviated procedures required by the statutes. The parties are rarely represented by counsel, and ex parte orders are encouraged, which means courts may not hear the necessary facts and legal arguments. Very few civil harassment cases lead to appeals, let alone appeals with published opinions. As a result, civil harassment law tends to operate with a shortage of two things we ordinarily rely upon to ensure accurate decision-making by trial courts: the adversary system and appellate review.

      These structural features also explain why, despite its extensive reach, civil harassment law has been virtually invisible to the bar, bench, and academia. The statutes are encountered by only a small segment of the private bar, none of the federal judiciary, and at most a sliver of the state appellate judiciary.

      Although the professor doesn’t say as much, this, too, is why false allegations can go over so smoothly, why they’re epidemic, and why they escape the scrutiny of the system and the public.

      Even when allegations aren’t intentionally fraudulent, as the professor does point out, “Constitutional violations are sure to arise if statutes are interpreted and applied—as they often are—to allow injunctions (against any activity) in response to (unspecified) behavior that makes others feel (generally) bad.”

      What the professor suggests with his bang-bang parenthetical remarks in this quotation is that the restraining order process is wishy-washy and unconstitutional.

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  2. Anonymous

    July 21, 2014

    I’m sharing my story with you to illustrate just how abused restraining orders are. I live in California. The actual laws around CCP 527.6 are good laws, important laws. It’s the manner in which they are enforced that’s getting abused. I don’t know what we can do about it, since anything we do to protect ourselves, our reputation, Constitutional and Civil rights as well as civil liberties gets held against us. I could not find an attorney to represent me given my low income status. The attorney’s who offered service to low income could not help me in the time frame of the courts deadlines. I was forced in pro per and used legal self help and the law library. It’s just so unconstitutional to put people through this. The court proceedings went down like something out of a Salem witch trial. Here’s my story.

    I’m a gay woman accused of stalking another women when I was a repeat customer at Starbucks. I never followed the woman anywhere or waited for her before or after work. I was a repeat patron of this Starbucks as it was the closest coffee place on my way to work. During this time, my friends and I were talking about this person on Facebook. I was talking about the girl being attractive. My friends would playfully encourage me to ask her out. I did not ever ask her out. I never even flirted with her.

    Over the next 6 months I ran into the woman 2 more times. Once at a very popular public yoga studio and 3 months later on BART (subway train). I did not approach her or attempt contact with her in any way at the train. In fact, I noticed her at about 30 feet away boarded a train car and she bored another train car ahead of me. I was late to the yoga class, I observed the entire class (about 20 people) for about 5 minutes and left. Two months later I was served a TRO. It was at this time I became aware the woman had been reading my conversations (status updates) to my friends on Facebook. She was awarded a 1 year order.

    The order was just recently renewed and extended to 5 years because my appealing the order was deemed harassment. Here’s the thing. As a gay woman, I qualify as a “protected class of people.” A court of law declaring me “obsessive” and “disturbing” for talking about finding another woman attractive is an outrage. The woman lied repeatedly and the evidence she submitted proves she lied. The evidence I submitted proves I never followed her anywhere. I know the CCP 527.6 by heart at this point. I proved I never “…engaged in a course of conduct designed to cause the petitioner distress or alarm…” My “continuity” of purpose was to get coffee while on the way to work, take a train to a destination and practice yoga. All of which was to serve a legitimate purpose and legitimacy of purpose negates harassment.

    Even the appeal court backed the courts ruling and backed their opinion with factual errors and refused to correct them. The errors or so awful, they make statements that are completely false. My reason for appeal was to defend my civil liberties as a gay woman to openly discuss finding another woman attractive without fear of persecution in a court of law. I was advised by legal self help to appeal. This woman never let me know she was reading my posts on Facebook or that they bothered her (and why and how was she reading them anyway???) the evidence proves it and I sit her with a now 5 year, 100 yard stay away order. An order that interferes with my ability to commute to work, school, doctor appointments etc.

    I commute via public transportation 6 hours a day 4 days a week. This woman commutes the same way in the same general vicinity. I’m so anxious and stressed about running into her again because I know she will lie. Whatever her problem is, she was willing to lie in the first place I’m sure she’ll again.

    During the hearing for renewal I was granted a Good Cause hearing to show why the petitioner need not fear me. I came with new evidence that proves I did not follow her as she claimed. I came prepared to read my testimony that cited from the clerks record where she lied about being followed within 3-5 feet. The court has to hear every relevant testimony including hearsay. This judge would not let me give my testimony. The judge was saying it was irrelevant without even letting me speak. I just can’t believe this is procedure.

    I can’t help feeling like my case is the epitome of how bad restraining order abuse has gotten.

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    • Thanks for sharing this. I’m sorry and angry for you. I’ve been poring over rhetoric for the past few months that originates with the feminist message that rape victims shouldn’t be blamed for “motivating” an attack. Signs are held aloft at protests that remind people that being flirtatious—which is the worst possible interpretation of your actions that could reasonably be drawn (and that based on eavesdropping)—shouldn’t be punished. They say flirting is harmless and doesn’t authorize mistreatment. Rightly. Yet clearly it does when the context is shifted. How successfully protests actually change how criminal allegations of rape are perceived is questionable. Rhetoric has done a great job, however, of ensuring that if a woman claims fear to a civil judge, her allegations are rewarded almost on reflex. Massive federal sops have been paid out to courts and police departments under the Violence Against Women Act to condition this response (averaging over $500,000 per). Evidentiary standards are also much lower. Men abuse the system, too, to equally devastating effect: point a finger, win a prize.

      Ridiculously, had things played out slightly differently, you could have gotten a stalking restraining order based on being “monitored” on Facebook or “pursued” (“I said I thought she was cute to some friends on Facebook, Your Honor, and now this woman follows me everywhere!”). Complainants don’t even have to lie, per se; they just have to spin the facts a little. Basically, to claim you feel uncomfortable is to be able to criminalize someone and sabotage his or her life. Whoever’s first up the courthouse steps is nominated “the victim.” And lying is never acknowledged as such, let alone sanctioned or prosecuted. You could probably have gotten this woman fired from her job if you were the histrionic one.

      These orders were conceived decades ago as a measure to arrest wife-beating.

      Today they’re issued against someone who says someone else is cute and attends the same yoga class. Not only can innocuous flattery be construed by judges—who are pros at “impression management” and know exactly what to recite into the record—as sexual harassment; it can be construed as “domestic violence.” Yeah, even if you don’t share a domicile with someone else, and there’s not a shadow of what Webster’s defines as violence that applies.

      Under California law, if flirting—by, what, making complimentary remarks on social media among friends?—can be construed as “harassment,” it can be labeled “domestic violence.” Words don’t even mean anything anymore—except to the third parties who hear them and haven’t the least acquaintance with how this stuff actually goes down. To them, you’re now a stalker (a crazed obsessive with deviant intentions). No one will ever know the truth but you.

      I’ve just been corresponding with a man in California who was issued a restraining order petitioned by his sister-in-law that essentially alleges “domestic violence” based on her claims that the man (her sister’s husband) looked at her son (his nephew) at the boy’s baseball games, where he’s employed as an umpire. This was qualified as “harassment” which in turn was called “domestic violence.” The prefix on the order he was issued is “DV.” (See here.)

      Judges force a procrustean fit. They find whatever they want to find. You’re basically being punished for what, being in the proximity of another person you remarked was pretty (and not even to her)?

      People don’t hear the facts, only how they’re represented.

      The California man I’ve mentioned has just filed a “Motion for New Trial” (through an attorney). If you’d like me to forward your email address to him and ask him to get in touch with you, let me know. He might send you a copy of his motion (or I could if he says it’s okay). If it doesn’t work, he plans to appeal. Obviously, this business is a whole lot more easily done when you can afford legal representation.

      Your rights as a member of a “protected class” are trumped. You even fall into the blind spot of organizations that endeavor to protect and promote the rights of gay men and women like the ACLU, because there’s a conflict of interest. The ACLU regards itself as a pioneer in the advancement of women’s rights, so even when it acknowledges abuses of restraining orders, it’s quick to assert that restraining order laws are good. It doesn’t want to offend its feminist base.

      Alternative thoughts you might consider are appealing to a higher court if you feel safe doing it (this will cost but may be within your means) or talking to someone with a gay and lesbian rights group. For security, you really need a patron ($) who’ll help you obtain an attorney’s intervention. There seem to be grounds for alleging there was insufficient evidence at trial to justify the court’s decision, and there may be grounds for alleging you were discriminated against based on your appearance or sexual orientation, in other words, that you were “demonized” for being gay (Google the name of the judge to see if anyone else has complained of anything like this—you never know). You could even go talk to someone at the ACLU. Anything you can do in person, do in person.

      Check with national gay and lesbian rights groups besides local ones.

      The courts have conveniently fixed it so that if you were to take your case to the court of public opinion (media), the action could be construed as a “further instance” of harassment. I frankly don’t understand how the court can sanction someone for filing an appeal, and down the road you may also want to file a complaint against the judges with the California Commission on Judicial Conduct (I think that’s what it’s called) and with your state’s Commission on Judicial Performance Review.

      I don’t want to get your hopes up, but you could call around to attorneys looking for one who’d take your case pro bono. The problem is that few people in the legal community recognize the gravity of restraining order abuse and its ramifications, even if they’re sympathetic. If you think you were discriminated against based on your sexual orientation, mentioning it might improve your odds.

      Talking to people in the gay and lesbian community could net you some names.

      This kind of thing is agonizing to me to hear about, because I know the woman who’s accused you will disparage you to everyone she talks to, your basic routine is disrupted, you have to live in constant fear wondering if you’ll bump into this person and what further chaos she may inject into your life, she’ll never give a thought to what she’s done to you or what your life will become as a result, and the judges involved will have already forgotten you exist.

      It’s infuriating, besides, that we’re living in a time when more and more courts are sympathetic to gay marriage, and you can still effectively be made to feel like a “creepy queer” by the state through exploitation of a process that’s beneath public and media radar. You can’t even go for coffee now without wondering if you’ll be whispered about after you leave because someone in the Starbucks network has “heard about you.”

      Please write again if you get some good news—and I hope you do. I was just contacted by a sensitive and intelligent gay man who wrote at great length about a horrible ordeal only to ask me to remove his comment the next day because he felt vulnerable. People are terrorized into silence.

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    • I just saw I don’t have your email address. If you want to contact the California man who I mentioned has filed a motion for a new trial, you can reply to this comment of his, and he’ll see what you’ve written. (His comment begins, “I don’t mind you writing about this at all.”)

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      • Anonymous

        July 23, 2014

        Thank you so much for naming how I’m feeling. I’ve been afraid to compare how I feel to rape because it’s such a sensitive subject. But, I do feel violated, my power taken from me and humiliated to high degree, by this woman as well as the court. I couldn’t figure out how to sign up for your website, so that’s probably why you don’t have my email.

        I understand how the gay man feels. I went back and forth for days about sharing this on a forum because “..anything I say..” has been “…used against me in a court of law…” while violating constitutional rights etc. I’ve been an activist for 2 decades now and this is the first time I’ve ever truly felt afraid to defend my civil liberties and rights. I feel all alone in this. My friends and family know I’m not a stalker or a “creepy queer” but they have no real power to protect me and I just don’t feel safe wondering what this lady will do should we run into each other again. I commute by BART 6 hours a day 4 days a week so over the next 5 years it’s possible we will cross each other’s path.

        I’ve been in contact with ACLU and I’m waiting on them to respond. I’m going to try some of your other suggestions. One thing that really bothers me is the inability to respond publicly to the Appellate court’s opinion, which is now public. They made egregious factual errors to support their opinion of “Affirmed” on the judges ruling. I asked them to correct those errors and they refused. I should be able to submit the factual errors that were made just as publicly as the opinion. The whole opinion reads like somebody decided to “Affirm” the ruling and cherry picked words together and out of context. Anybody could do that. I could read Jack London’s “Call of the Wild” declare it’s about alien abduction and string words from the book together, wrap quotations around them and convince you my opinion of Call of the Wild is correct, especially if I was in a position of authority.

        I’ve even gotten in touch with women who have actually been stalked by someone dangerous,armed and mentally ill (etc)and they are shocked and angered by the whole case. That these women will even talk to me has to be because I’m a woman as well. I can’t believe a man going into a survivors of stalking support group and stating he was accused of false stalking getting any kind of empathy. I’m really sorry to find out that the process for protective orders have gotten so ridicules they violate the victim and defendant, breed fear and animosity within a community and allow Judicial Officers to abuse discretion without limit.

        I’m filing a statement with California Commission on Judicial Conduct, I’m still researching on how to do it.It’s not going to change the order but awareness needs to be brought to attention. I’m reluctantly in pro per because of limited income. I suffered a violent crime and was put on disability. I know, it sounds tragic, But it’s a reality of living in Oakland, California. The irony is, had I been working I would not have qualified for fee waivers but would not have had enough income for lawyer and filing fees. I had zero luck in finding an attorney. Ultimately the attorney’s who pro-bono have their hands full with more urgent matters.

        Thanks again for your response and suggestions. I want to believe we can make changes around the process of dispensing RO’s and keep people who are truly in danger safe. I’ll check out the California man who filed a motion for a new trial. Thank you.

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        • You’re welcome.

          All of your impressions are right. Men are distrusted. Feminine allegiances are conflicted, because domestic and sexual violence does occur, obviously. Unless they’re very motivated by a fraud that’s affected someone who’s close to them, women tend to be skittish of indicting feminist excesses, which are the root cause of judicial prejudice. Judges are coerced by a number of factors (including personal and professional pride) to cook the facts. People who’ve been abused by court process are afraid to risk further attention. I’d say it’s a diabolically ingenious conception, but probably it’s worked out this way haphazardly.

          If you’d like to write a post for the blog, you’re very welcome to. I think you’ve fairly instantly come to understand how the system works as well as anybody.

          You’re honest. That’s a big part of it. I don’t relish saying this—I worked for the family of a judge for years, and they were like my own family—but judges, in their professional capacity at least, often aren’t honest. They’re politicians, and politics is about spin.

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          • Anonymous

            July 24, 2014

            Ultimately judge’s are human. But yeah. I’ll keep you posted with what comes of this. Because abuse of discretion is abuse of discretion period. Even if it doesn’t doesn’t change a ruling it should still be reported. Sigh.

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  3. Mark 106

    July 14, 2014

    I’m not sure where to start – I had a peace order sworn out against me in the State of Maryland in December of last year. It was completely and utterly false – charging me with violence, stalking, harassment – it did not have any accurate information on it except for my name and address and I was shocked to see it in so many ways. I would never have believed that someone not only could – but actually would – have the ability to outright lie and slander and present a complaint as fact to a court! My ex, whom I had not been in a relationship with close to a year and a half only communicated with me by email – essentially got angry with me for moving to Florida and for my new girlfriend being with me. I finally got tired of the on and off manipulative behavior and decided to once and for all end it – I didn’t like it – but a friendship even by email was too difficult and unfair to my new situation. The reprisal was immediate and hurtful and to make things worse – even more outlandish things were said about me that were then shared publicly on Facebook! I contacted a friend and attorney who advised me in both capacities to let it go – because it was essentially a contest of who could lie better. Still – I flew from Florida to Maryland for my court date armed with all the email correspondence – copies of the defamatory posts and essentially proof that what she had alleged not only to the court but to her own friends was contradicted by what I had in correspondence and residence – I mean I had lived in and worked hundreds of miles away six months before she filed! (I relocated with my company to one of their branches here in Florida). The court date was cancelled because of the inclement weather in Maryland at the time and the clerk’s office was closed. It was too late to change my travel arrangements with my job and the airline without significant consequence so the hearing happened without me there! I petitioned the courts for a rescission/modification on the advice of counsel and it took almost three weeks for the courts to summarily deny and dismiss it! That only gave me a week to file an appeal and I missed that too! Now the six month order has expired without incident but I have a civil record in Maryland for the peace order that says to keep away from her, do not abuse, do not contact – don’t go to all these addresses etc which infers that I was actually guilty of these things!!! The ONLY thing that ever happened between my ex and I was a friendly exchange of emails until I decided to end it – it’s ridiculous – and the worst part of it is that there is no record of her filing or getting the peace order in her name – only on mine! Now I have a closed order that makes me look like I was a stalker and an abuser and there is nothing I can do about it! I will have that for the rest of my life because an angry ex lied?? I want so badly for the truth of what happened – to defend my name and reputation to be out there-I even considered writing a letter to the judge but will it do any good? It just does NOT feel right that someone could do something like that – affecting my life and record forever – permanently staining my reputation in the community and completely and utterly false! It just seems ridiculously unfair – is there no way to get the truth out there?

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    • I think there is a way, Mark, but it’s not a quick one.

      There’s a very lucent and balanced journalist named Cathy Young who’s been writing about judicial inequities and absurdities to do with restraining orders and the application of domestic violence laws for 15 years or more—and for the likes of The Boston Globe, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and Salon.com. She’s a terrific writer. What remedial effect she’s had, however, is hard to detect.

      It’s like raising your fist against Moby Dick.

      Members of the public who haven’t been victimized by these kangaroo procedures and haven’t confronted the insanity of them firsthand have no investment in writing to senators or demanding change; and the people who have been abused and talk back are taken for cranks. A process for driving people mad couldn’t have been more perfectly conceived by the devil himself.

      The process grew out of a lot of people’s clamoring. And the people who usurped their megaphone are still clamoring, and they’re very good at drowning out opposing voices by volume, by ridicule and ad hominem attacks, by propaganda, etc.

      Camille Paglia and Christina Hoff Sommers, both luminous (feminist) thinkers, were interviewed by PBS in the 90s, and one or the other of them called the “feminist establishment” of today an “army of busybodies” who are peerless social networkers and organizers.

      The first annual International Conference on Men’s Issues was held a few weeks ago, and it had a turnout of probably fewer than 200 (the only head count I read was MSNBC’s, which vaguely put attendance at “more than 100”).

      Men aren’t great social networkers, and even female victims of abuse of process seem conflicted about challenging the root of the problem, which is feminine/feminist representations of male violence. The anti-rape slogan, “Don’t blame the victim,” has so infected social consciousness—and consequently legislated policies—that whoever says, “I’m a victim,” is recognized as a victim, no questions asked. VAWA, which receives enormous federal subsidies that are passed on to police departments and courts, even mandates as a contractual stipulation to grants’ being awarded that allegations of threat and violence be taken on faith by our justice system.

      The obstacles to exposing injustice are gargantuan.

      The only way to make people reconsider—or consider for the first time—what’s going on is to talk about it publically. Even getting people to add their stories to blogs and e-petitions, though, is hard. People have been shamed and intimidated. They know that the truth doesn’t matter, reason doesn’t matter, rules don’t matter. To be implicated can mean to be damned—what you’ve horrifically had impressed upon you with a branding iron.

      The Q & A page on this blog is highly trafficked. Responses to a petition I put up three years ago have been, in the last few months, exactly two. Responses to a petition authored by someone else about false allegations of domestic violence, which I’ve prominently highlighted on the blog with winking graphics, are about five to 10 a day, and clicks on the link in the blog are sporadic.

      Granted, a majority of the viewers of the Q & A page may be people seeking to learn more about getting restraining orders, but you take my point. Nobody wants to stick his or her neck out. Plus, victims of bum raps are typically trying to free themselves of the onus so they can return to their lives; they’re not activists. And they probably figure, reasonably, that there’s no point (resistance is futile). A case in point: a woman recently put up a Facebook page titled, “Stop Restraining Order Abuse.” I looked at her page a few days later, and it still only had one like. The apathy is discouraging. People who’ve been abused, what’s more, aren’t real keen to expose themselves to further abuse.

      They have to rebel anonymously; feminists, who’ve nominated themselves victims and representatives of victims, can by contrast make their cases openly. They have social sympathy and cachet.

      If there’s another way to get the truth out besides putting it out there for people to see, though, I don’t know what it is. It’d be great if there were some billionaire with a burning desire to see justice put back on its rails, but the people with power and influence who get snared in these judicial travesties are the people who usually get back out again.

      Also, people with money are often people who depend on popular sentiment to keep that money. Take David Letterman, for instance. He was accused by a woman he’d never met in his life who lived thousands of miles away from him in 2005. If he’d made a stink about it, feminists would very literally have endeavored to have him taken off the air. A prominent syndicated editorialist (George Will) recently wrote a piece that called the liberal qualification of rape into question and was dropped by at least one paper because of the ensuing exclamations of outrage from feminist quarters, which crudely mischaracterized what he wrote.

      You have on the one hand a lot of victims who are afraid to pipe up and victims who do pipe up but sound crazy to the uninitiated, like fathers who’ve had their kids ripped from them based on lies; and on the other hand, you have a judicial system and an “army of busybodies” that do all they can to suppress dissention.

      There is, though, a large constituency of the public that’s more moderate and heedful of the truth. They’re the ones who need to be won over. The only way to do that, really, is to expose stories like yours and try to argue against the status quo soberly.

      The average person doesn’t know what goes on, so s/he can’t appreciate the agony and rage a lot of people very naturally express.

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      • Mark 106

        July 15, 2014

        Thank you … the only way I can think to draw plight to the situation is to take a risk – because it is not apparently possible to expect the other party to govern themselves with even a shred of decency. I’ve seen people lose their cool with wait-staff over a bungled soup order, become driven to road rage, attack snow plow drivers for leaving a ridge in front of a driveway … Yet when an individual’s reputation is attacked, slandered and defamed in the community – getting righteously upset about it, only makes people seem to agree with the false allegations about you in the first place. “He or she has an “anger problem” “. I’ve reached out to the plaintiff in the most pleasant, polite and decent way to get cooperation in vacating the order – so that it can later be expunged or removed and not stain my record forever – this request has been ignored. Given an easy opportunity to make something right – it was passed on. All this does is make me angry – not because I’m obsessive, not because I have an anger problem – but because I was forever harmed by dishonesty. Now I feel that I have to drag the entire affair into the light of day so that it can be seen, weighed and hopefully deter this from happening to other people! i’m just not sure how.

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        • Exactly. The court makes you feel like a sex offender (based on lies), and you’re supposed to shrug it off. Accusations like this cost people their employability in certain fields. And they can be denied non-specialist jobs, too. They can also be denied leases, public housing, etc. Everyone takes these judgments very seriously…but you’re not supposed to. The records are public. If you want to work in the public eye, anyone can post them on YouTube.

          You’re welcome to compose your story for publication here, Mark. For reasons of liability, though, your story would have to be stripped of details that would explicitly reveal the identity of your accuser. In other words, you could say she’s a bus driver or chiropractor or whatever, but you couldn’t use her name or employer. Or I could be sued for libel, harassment, etc.

          It’s a beautifully conceived injustice. You can’t defy allegations that are false, because they’re accepted on faith as true. You can’t be angry about this, because it means you have “rage issues.” You can’t expose what you’ve been put through, because the court’s glad to punish you for “further harassment.” And you can’t return to your life.

          If you’re willing to accept the heat, you can publish your story on a blog of your own authoring. Some people get away with this. Whether they ever induce false accusers to recant, I don’t know.

          Liars tend to double-down sooner than own up to the truth.

          See this post: “What’s Legal, What’s Iffy, and What’s Not: How to Talk about a ‘Restraining Ordeal’ without Risking More of the Same Mistreatment

          Also: “Federal Court: Bloggers Have Same First Amendment Rights as Journalists

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  4. deantong

    July 3, 2014

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  5. The VAWA is just part of the Marxist agenda to destroy the USA so the hatemonger racist Marxists can fully take over (which they already have). Sure a few women get screwed in family court or DV court but the vast majority of victims of false restraining orders are men. I tried to get a restraining order on my ex wife after she continued to attack me in our home and she was also hitting our baby daughter in the face. I had even recorded videos of her attacking me and chasing me down the street screaming and hitting me as a ran away. Our baby daughter tested positive for THC because my ex wife turned into a raging pot head and smoked all day and night and then also breast fed. Our baby daughter was living in cloud of pot smoke.

    What did the judge do? Ignored all my evidence and took every lie out of my ex wife’s mouth as complete gospel. Then the hatemonger/bigoted/biased/child abusing judge scolded me and told me I had to pay my ex-wife’s legal fees!!!!!!!!!!! Again I had VIDEO proof of her attacking me was well as hair follicle tests from Quest Diagnostics that showed high levels of THC in her system. She was only 10 months old.

    The VAWA is a war on fathers and children. And if you really think for a moment it is really a war on women to because it encourages them to destroy their marriages, the fathers of their children, and their children. In the end the false accusers pay for it because the children grow up the hate their lying psycho mothers.

    There are two types of people who go to DV court.
    1. the woman; she always tells the truth
    2. the man: he is the liar and the oppressor. He oppressed the women by marrying her. This is how hatemonger Marxists think.

    The cops are mostly low IQ zombies who just do what they are trained and they are soldiers in destroying families, and abusing children by removing good fathers from the lives of their children. These the the same lazy overpaid blobs of flesh who wait at the bottom of hills to give you tickets for speeding. They have absolutely no business intervening in another man’s family unless there is some real proof he is abusing his family members.

    And of course the ultimate hatemongers/child abusers are the organizations that try label men’s rights advocates as “hate groups”. Actually I do not like the men’s rights movement either as it is just part of the Marxist game of promoting war between men and women. There should be no men’s rights movement. The “movement” should be only pro-child and gender should not be an issue.

    So when do mothers get screwed in family court? When she believes in traditional family values or is a member of a religion which the biased and bigoted Marxist indoctrinated family court judge does not agree with. Or the mother can get screwed if the father is politically connected. It is a corrupt system after all.

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    • Sign this, if you haven’t already, Greg:

      Stop False Allegations of Domestic Violence” (e-petition)

      It’s much rarer, but if you browse the accounts posted to this petition, you’ll see women get screwed, too. Something no one talks about is that in a significant number of cases, they’re falsely accused by other women, including their own mothers and sisters.

      It’s a hope of mine that if enough women speak up who’ve been falsely accused by other women (or whose spouses or boyfriends have been), the equation of female accusers with angels will start to tarnish.

      You’re right about the correspondence with communism: fingering people is encouraged and rewarded, information is managed or suppressed, judicial rulings are largely predetermined and obey a political agenda, and the dominant power successfully represents itself as a “people’s movement” against tyranny (“the patriarchy”). The self-styled victims’ advocates are the tyrants. Soccer dads aren’t “the establishment”; feminism is the establishment.

      See the 20-year-old law journal exposé reprinted in this post that I just put up: “‘N.J. Judges Told to Ignore Rights in Abuse TROs’: A Retrospective Look at Abusive Restraining Order Policies.” It corroborates everything you’ve said.

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  6. Kellz

    June 8, 2014

    I’ve never publicly shared this story but I’ve wanted to for so long. Almost a year ago, one night after drinking with his buddies, my bf came home and started freaking out and threatening to harm himself. I didn’t believe him at first because he is the happy go lucky type, but after seeing his actions I quickly realized this was no joke. So as any humane person would do I tried to help him. I tried to get him to calm down and in the process I got hurt. After getting hurt I realized there wasn’t much that I can do. (I am very petite and he’s a big guy.) So I called the police. (Worst mistake of our lives!) I ran to dial 911 and pleaded with the operator to send someone to help him. I repeat “HELP HIM!” I love this man and I’m obviously scared for him. It is a very TERRIFYING thing to have something wrong with someone you love and you don’t know what you can do to help them. He overheard my call and ran out of the house but right into the police. And they arrest him, charge him with DV and issued a TRO for 1 year. Can you effin believe it? No take him to the hospital for a psych eval. Let’s just ruin his life they said.
    While at the hospital, the officer told me that I HAD to write a statement. I asked “what should I write?” And he told me. At that moment, I barely understood what happened and here I am writing a statement about how he could have pushed me when trying to save him and other brief sentences. 2 days later when I was no longer in shock and I was no longer writing statements with a broken limb and no meds and no x-ray done, a detective called me to write another or “clear up” my previously written statement, and I told the detective that I wasn’t interested because I wrote everything the Sargeant told me say. After that I worked very hard to find the prosecuting D.A. because I needed to fix this.
    A week and half later the D.A. finally contacted me and asked me what happened. So I told her what happened. I told her that I called 911 for help and now he’s accused of DV. She said she understood and wanted to help and that they won’t keep the charges against him. My one and only visit with the D.A. she started off claiming that my bf said mean things about me that he was acting erratically once cuffed but I saw him when he was cuffed and he was very still. Kinda like lost. PLUS, the arresting officer whom was at my bedside in the hospital told me he couldn’t believe how calm he was. So why lie? Oh to get me to turn against him. That’s right. So I set her straight. I told her that I’m changing my statement, and in no way in hell could she have my medial records. I told her it was crystal clear what happened and even if he had harmed, it was clearly accidental. I tried to save his life! And he’s being penalized for it. She asked me why would the police lie? I couldn’t believe that came out of her mouth. She said she knew them for years and couldn’t see why they would lie but I said the proof is in the facts. I.e., my 911 call. And if recorded, the detective who called me and I told that “I said all I was told to say.” I quickly realized there wasn’t much of a case for her. I wrote the judge and his lawyer and asked that the order be lifted. The judge denied it because that could “determine the outcome of the case.” Right.
    They dropped his case down to a violation (of course because they couldn’t prove DV) but filed an all new no contact protective order for 2 years. How is this possible? How could trying to save a loved one ruin lives this way? If anyone got hurt trying to save someone they loved and ended up charges and a restraining order, ppl would fight this. There are parents out there (unlike mine) and spouses and siblings and strangers who would get hurt any day to protect someone they love.
    His lawyer did not work to get it removed. I never seen a day in court, never met the judge that decided my fate, never filed a motion, etc. This woman judge just decided that although there was no real proof, it was okay. And his dumbass lawyer allowed it. Btw, did I mention that his lawyer and the prosecuting D.A.’s spouse are good friends? I’ve wanted to fight this for so long because of the judge’s ill decisions, I’ve been forced to live with an abusive parent, (I’m disabled) I’ve been forced to reside in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in NY with this abusive parent, and I’ve been homeless due to the same abusive parent living in the high crime rate neighborhood. Wonderful right? And this is so-called “protection”. Is she kidding me?
    I need to know EVERY. POSSIBLE. THING. to do in this case because this is really effed up. We’re paying for this the rest of our lives, all because I feared for his. I wish I had broken every limb rather than call 911 and expect them to “help”. I now know. Apart of this makes me think that if he had successfully hurt himself and I had not called the police that I they would try to charge me with something. Since they just like throwing charges around and creating domestic disputes between couples. They police even gave a bogus ass account of events to an online newspaper and the story is clearly rubbish and unconnected. How can I get this lifted? This all took place in NY. If he violates the order will it be more difficult to get rid of? I’ve even met with a domestic violence counselor who assessed me and determined that I’m not a battered woman or a victim and she’s in the same court.
    I honestly believe his lawyer just sucked. I’m sure he didn’t want to keep going back and forth to court and wanted it to be over as quickly as possible so took the deal and the new OP. Which was a dumb idea in my opinion. I think he should have said I’ll go to trial because they did not have case strong enough for it. It took me months to find out what happened and when the case was even over. I still never received the any order of protection from the courts which I find strange since I’m the one whose life they decided to rule on.

    How can I fight this judge?

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    • I’m really sorry. Obviously, you’re hurting. I’m not an attorney, and the best person to consult might be a different one than the one you had. Googling domestic violence defense + attorney + your city + New York might yield you the name of an attorney who could tell you if there’s anything s/he could do for you at this point. Consultation could be done by phone without laying out any money. Since a year’s gone by, the window for appeal has probably passed, but you may have grounds for moving for a new trial (maybe on the grounds that you were coerced by the police). This is a hard motion to make, and it’s one you’d really need an attorney’s help with.

      Something I’m not clear on is how was your boyfriend charged with a “violation” if there was no order of the court in place at the time of the episode?

      If he violates the order that’s in effect now, yes, he can be jailed, and it will just exacerbate things.

      For starters, see if you can get copies of the police report(s) and the 911 call (they may keep these for a while). If the police won’t give you a digital copy of the call but it still exists, an attorney could subpoena it.

      Judges are literally told to be suspect when a “plaintiff” withdraws allegations of domestic violence. I’m not saying you represented yourself as a plaintiff or made allegations of domestic violence voluntarily, but that’s how the situation was represented to the judge.

      People think that charges are brought by citizens, but they’re not. They’re brought by the state (the police and district attorney), and they can be brought even when citizens aren’t claiming anything bad happened.

      The accused just gets railroaded through. It’s like putting a guinea pig in the hands of scientists. It’s just a clinical exercise for them, and the accused is just an object. People who don’t know you and have no concern for your feelings or future just decide your fate according to their standard operating procedure. The truth is whatever they want to make it.

      I’ll think on this and post another reply if any other tacks you might investigate occur to me. Look into “coercion” and “police coercion.” I will, too.

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    • Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office:

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    • Police Coercion Cited in Order for Retrial in Upstate New York Killing(New York Times)

      False confession” (Wikipedia)

      Coerced Confessions and the Fourth Amendment” (Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly)

      The correspondence between coerced confession and coerced accusation in your case would be that you were intimidated into making statements to the police that were against your interests.

      The National Center for Reason and Justice refers to “coerced accusations.” Its website is here.

      See also “‘Innocence Project’ Successes.”

      coerced_accusations

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  7. Todd,

    Where were you when my ex– had me fly from CO to CA after her break-up with her boy friend? I told her that she could live with me for a while until she got her head together. As soon as my plane landed in the worst court in the country, Santa Clara County, we went directly to U-haul, rented a truck, moved her out, and we were on our way. Got to CO 5 days later. We did all right together for about six weeks when, one morning, I was bringing her in a cup of morning coffee, in her own bedroom, and she sat there holding a ten-inch two-tine carving fork.

    Then she announced that she was leaving. Ten minutes later her son, also from CA knocked on the door to move her back and about fifteen minutes after that, a cop showed up to keep the peace.

    They left quietly…I thought it was all over and chalked it up to a big mistake and losing a few bucks on my part.

    Then within three weeks, there is a knock on the door…you guessed it, Sheriff this time. He said, “Hate to do this to you bud…” and left.

    So now I’m stunned. Apparently she was talking to the ex-boyfriend at night after I had gone to bed… and also her son. Ever hear of VAWA? Neither did I until now.

    Worst part, I was ‘on the job’ most of my life and when we got domestics, we’d respond and we usually kicked the ‘guy’ out for the night and that was it. If he did come back, no problem, he went to the can.

    But, to serve me with a domestic in CO that I knew nothing about and then have to appear in less than a week in a CA court was something that I never heard of before…didn’t even know if it was legal.

    I went…it got postponed. I went again, I could live with that but then my Ex all of a sudden was afraid because I owned two pistols and she was suddenly afraid of guns. And, when I explained or at least tried to explain to the Judge that my EX and I used to live in Wyoming and we both went target shooting all the time…and that she was a better shot than I. And, if she was so afraid, why did she come to CO? Surely, she knew the guns were there. I guess she wasn’t THAT afraid. The Judge wasn’t even listening.

    The Judge gave me a TRO for one year. That, and took my guns. That’s really not something you do to a man who spent his life with one strapped on his hip and one on his ankle.

    Think it’s over? NO! All during the time she was living with the boyfriend after she got back to CA, we used to talk on the phone, almost every day. After 30 years of being together it’s a hard habit to break. And we used to play this silly internet card game, with her in CA and me in CO at night.

    So, what happened? I see that she is still up on that site playing cards. Long story short, we started leaving little notes for one another. According to the VAWA statute, that’s okay for her to talk to me…just not me to her. Anyway, for 30 years, I had sent her a birthday card, why should this year be any different? I’m six months away from losing this TRO, we’re talking, and things are okay, not that I’d ever trust here but I did not think a birthday card would piss her off.

    Actually, I don’t think it did. The kid, my step-son, well…we never got along anyway and she was deathly afraid of him finding out that we were playing cards. So, it just kind of figures that he told her that she was going to report this and request that the Court extend my TRO. And this was done two weeks before it was due to expire.

    Did you know in CA, all that you have to do is pick up your Blackberry, connect to the Sheriff’s Department and within 5 to 10 minutes your lying complaints are all filed. You don’t even have to leave you home to screw someone. Pretty neat, huh?

    So, here we go again, she gets to travel ten minutes to Court and I have to fly a plane at my own expense again, only to get postponed again after I get there. One of the interesting things about all of this is that I’ve been disabled since 1995 and I decided to drive to San Jose the next time to look for a Pro Bono lawyer to defend me. I should be so lucky. I went through about 35 lawyers and the story was always the same, we do not defend the Respondent.

    And the VAWA statute with all it’s fine provisions to help an abused woman find a place to live, something to drive, and even a little cash in her pocket, manages quite easily to get herself a lawyer.

    It seems the statute will not provide an attorney for the Respondent, which we all know is usually a guy. And why you might ask is the reason for that? When all the women got together and lobbied Washington to get this law passed, they made`sure that they could screw their Ex if they ever needed to use this law. Since most of the cases are tried in Civil Court which do not rate a lawyer according to the VAWA Federal statute. Thank all our wives and girlfriends for that.

    The only way that I could have had a lawyer was if an assault or a battery had taken place or some violation of the penal code like…letting the air out of her tires. (I didn’t think of doing that though)

    But, here is the funny part. VAWA states that I am entitled to a defense if I violated an act of the penal code. I never laid a finger on her but she claims that I, “Harassed Her.” And, as we all know, harassment is a misdemeanor but here is the rub, it can also be a part of the Civil code, especially when domestic violence is involved.

    So, go figure. VAWA just states that if the Court is able to find the Respondent guilty of something that he/she can be locked up for…then they deserve to get a Pro Bono lawyer.

    Well, that’s pretty much my tale of woe….or stupidity for sending her a card for her birthday.

    This should never have happened to me. They both lied through their teeth, they had a lawyer and two women Judges. Do you think that the fix was in.? To top it all off, my ex had told me one night when we were playing cards that she was going through training to become a CASA in San Jose. For those of you that don’t know, at least in Denver where she was one before, A CASA is a Court Appointed Special Advocate appointed by the Court. And, they go out on Domestics and the like to calm the abused (?) woman down. Now, you don’t think that her wanting to perform the same duty in San Jose had any bearing on the outcome of her case, do you?

    In closing, silly me. I thought that I had a chance to appeal this thing so I spent $ 180.00 for the first transcript. They wanted $ 140.00 for the second transcript but I could not afford it.

    Then i started checking around about the SOL in CA and I think that I’m out of luck. I think the appeal has to be filed within 10 days. Hell, you can’t even get the transcript for a couple of months. I think the only ray of sunshine is the Supreme Court. But, they certainly aren’t going to want to hear this case, even they know it was a bad statute from the start. And the only reason it got passed at all was because all of the wives threatened to cut off the Congressmen and Senators from a little nooky if they didn’t vote for it.

    I would appreciate it if anyone has any ideas on how to turn this thing around and to just let me have another chance in Court at the both of them. If anyone has any ideas, please leave me a note via this site.

    Oh, the first Temporary TRO was served on me in CO in August 2010, I appeared for a Hearing in November and it was postponed until Jan 2011. I think there was one telephone Hearing in there causing my one year to be up in Oct 2011. She re-filed for the birthday card and more postponements and I finally got a five-year TRO in May 2012.

    The disappointing part of all of this is that I always thought that if they lied, which they did and if I could prove it, which i can, our legal system should be able to get this case thrown out.

    Thanks for listening.

    RC

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    • It’s not PC to say, but the fact is these laws and processes reward the worst female impulses to excite drama and attention. The slightest thing can be magnified into a cause celebre.

      (Links to pages in the bibliography in the right-hand margin by Dr. Tara Palmatier might be of interest to you.)

      The outrage is that nobody in the system (except some attorneys) acknowledges how traumatic these legal travails are or how they become the only thing a person can think about. It’s plain this has become your life—and understandably. No one acknowledges that these juvenile shenanigans hijack their targets’ peace of mind, productivity, and ability to look forward to things.

      One false allegation trips the system, and it’s relentless, and because it rewards false accusers, it just eggs them on to do more—and worse. What’s gnawing away at your sanity is giving your accuser something to talk about every day. It makes her important. She’s a victim.

      One man I know has becomes a crusader for injustices everywhere—all because his neighbor got a bee in her bonnet (which already housed a colony of bats, apparently). His life has been hijacked by obvious nonsense that’s naturally galling to him. It’s like living next to a sniper, because he never knows what to expect next.

      I do know that protection orders can be vacated in Colorado by defendants’ applying to the courts after a period of four years (just changed to two years for orders issued after July 1, 2013).

      I’ll hunt up the link to that.

      The only order originates from Colorado? Or was there one in California, too? If so, this might be of interest:

      You CAN Expunge a Civil Court Restraining Order Docket in California

      You know what blows me away is that if you considered the toll these games exact from their paper targets, you’d have to expect that people who were genuine threats would lose it. The fact that the system expects people to tolerate these indignities recognizes that they weren’t volatile people to begin with, because volatile people would snap.

      Maybe that’s the plan. If targets of false allegations begin melting down and climbing clock towers or going on sprees and rampages, VAWA subsidies would probably increase. “See,” the reasoning would go, “there’s your proof we need more money.” I can hear the NPR commentaries now.

      I’m really sorry, RC. This is obnoxious and no way to treat someone who’s put his life on the line in the service of others.

      What are the specific records you’re trying to get clear of and from where? I’ll try to think of what else I’ve come across.

      There may be some torts you could prosecute in a civil lawsuit if the statutes of limitation haven’t run. This is hell, of course, and judges aren’t sympathetic to damages caused by abuse of process. You could check a book of jury instructions. Fraud, for example, has a three-year statute of limitation in my state (fraud basically means inducing someone into an action under knowingly false pretenses—like inducing authorities and judges to believe and act on lies). Action like this exposes you to countersuit, is difficult to pull off on a shoestring budget, and demands that you make a study of law that would be like a part-time job, but it does afford an opportunity to bring a complaint to a judges’ attention. Even figuring out the right venue for prosecuting a lawsuit (which court to file with) can be a serious pain. And you could find yourself investing hundreds of hours in a boondoggle that’s summarily dismissed if you get the venue wrong and your accuser has an able attorney representing her.

      It’s a fix: “Resistance is futile.” Unless you’re among the politically elect. Then it’s handshakes and back claps.

      I was sent a link once to a story about a judge’s wife who embezzled $16,000 from the bank where she was employed. I think she was jailed for a day or part of a day and placed under house arrest for 12 months (cable TV and bonbons). Some influential court authority—maybe the presiding judge at her trial—was quoted as saying she clearly wasn’t a bad person, just one who wasn’t responsible with money.

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  8. I have a question. I have an year protective order for domestic violence(2nd one-hes been arrested but they still did not revoke his gun permit the first time)to expire in May. They took his gun permit and weapons thank god also. The first 2 months he parked down the street from my home, would shine his lights at me when i went out to walk and dog and go away. Of course he wasnt there when the police came so nothing happened.
    I havent seen him seen then, but I am worried about him getting his CT gun permit and weapons back. I would like to extend the order just to feel safe and I want to know will CT give him his weapons and permit back if the order is not extended??
    I not only fear for myself but others out there. He never locked tem up but keep them fully loaded(no safety) in his work desk draw all the time.
    Can they rescind his permit and if so can he still go to another state and get an permit..I only stayed with him because he had many issues to include PTSD, whcih he refuses to acknowledge, and anger management issues and I wanted to help him..but you cant help those who dont think they have a problem. I fear for others safety when his flash anger flares
    Thank you.

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    • Hi, Kris. You can reapply to the court, yes. In principle, you’d have to show cause why the order should be reissued or its term extended, but it may be that your saying you’re afraid would be good enough. Certainly y0u could inform the judge of the intimidation tactics.

      I’ve had the same thing done to me (and continue to), including at my residence, and I know it can be disturbing.

      If the scare tactics haven’t been repeated since last summer, it’s possible they won’t be. This isn’t very reassuring, I know.

      The thing I guess I’d bring to your attention is that if this person had it in his head to shoot you, he probably wouldn’t care if he had a license, and it is possible to obtain firearms off the books. It’s also possible, of course, to hurt people without the help of a gun. Obviously if he decided to hurt you, he wouldn’t be thinking about the future, because he’d be the prime suspect, right?

      If you’re seriously anxious about this person and what he might do, I’d recommend that you move away from him if it’s possible and go off the grid. There’s a book by Gavin de Becker called, The Gift of Fear, that’s very good. De Becker doesn’t put a lot of faith in restraining orders. Feeling safe can be a false feeling.

      Whether you should reapply to the court, I can’t say. That’s something you have to decide for yourself. But if you’re dealing with a volatile person, do consider whether y0u think this will help you or whether you think this might provoke the rage that you’re afraid of, because the man isn’t likely to respond by thinking, “Oh, that’s entirely reasonable of her to do.” He may just see red, and you’ll suddenly be on his radar again. Maybe the obsession is already there and will never die, or maybe you’d be rekindling it. I don’t know enough about the circumstances to comment.

      One of the awful things about court injunctions is that they prohibit communication. So you won’t know what’s going through this guy’s mind, and he won’t know what your motives are. This means you have two people whose imaginations and emotions are running hot.

      Stay safe, Kris.

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  9. okay I have this problem. me and my husband had to message you in a cops got involved. the put up a tech to order and said it can be removed if he does at least half of his DV classes. he did all his classes, ran meetings and went above and beyond what the judge has asked for. I went to take restraining order of and I got the run around. I went for hours yup and down to the same floors with the same results. I finally just just turned in a form that seemed right. That was the start this mess. Now my husband is in prison for violating the protective order and the California law said that if your in prison the protective order is removed. Well I went to judge and he removed it. But its still in the system.. they said they removed it. Several times in fact. I gave copies of the order to the prison. They told me I can come and visit.. so I travel 2 hours to come and see him, and they deny me after the warden said I can come, but she is on vacation at this moment. The guard was a total jerk and treated me like a criminal. And after they finished telling me to leave everything in the car and I had to change my clothes. Leaving all my possessions and paperwork in the car because I had to to be able to visit. The guard asls me if I had any proof on me. Because they weren’t going to let me back, plus I got dropped off so I didnt even have a phone. He wouldnt even except a faxed copy of a certified removal order. It had to be the original in which the warden had and my husband had in which they wouldn’t call either one to receive. He said it didnt matter because I wouldn’t visit him today ANYWAYS. And I had been previously approved and allowed to come visit.

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    • So, Marcia, your husband was violent, but you sought to remove the restraining order because you believe his dedication to reform was sincere, or are “domestic violence” classes just routinely mandated when a restraining order is issued against a husband? It’s often possible to have civil orders vacated if you’re the petitioner, but if the order was state-issued (based on a reported altercation), that’s probably the source of the friction. Your feelings about it may not count. If you could have plausibly told the court that you overreacted, removal of the order might have been possible if it was a civil order you applied for yourself. Are you saying, by the way, that you submitted a comment to the blog and that that drew the attention of the police? Please let me know, because it might be wise that commenters not provide their full names in that case. With all things legal, you want a confirmation (even of having paid a traffic ticket). So you turned in a motion to vacate the restraining order, but it wasn’t vacated, and your husband inadvertently violated it by returning home or contacting you? Then you actually did get a judge to vacate the order (issue a “removal order”) since your husband was imprisoned, but the prison isn’t acknowledging the order as void and forbid you to visit your husband? I’m sorry for your wasted trip and unnecessary ordeal. I guess the thing to do now would be to fax the “removal order” to the prison and confirm receipt before taking another daytrip out there. Maybe even ask that the prison fax or mail you some kind of permission that you can present at the gate if you meet with the same static next time. Also, it would be a good idea to make sure the police know the order has been vacated so there’s no risk of déjà vu all over again later. I don’t know why the status change wouldn’t immediately be visible system-wide.

      I’m a writer in Arizona, and all I can do is comment in generalities based on catch-as-catch-can information. Statutes (laws) vary from state to state, so if it’s at all possible for you to confer with an attorney, that would be ideal. Even a veteran lawyer from another state might not have the foggiest idea how things go down in California. What are you hoping to do now, at this point?

      Review this, incidentally, for your information and for consideration down the road if it’s applicable to your case: “You CAN Expunge a Civil Court Restraining Order Docket in California.”

      It could be the order against your husband was criminal. That’s something you’d have to investigate.

      That link was forwarded to me. I haven’t looked at it in a while, but see if it’s possible to email its author or comment on his page. If he’s an attorney—and I’m thinking he is—that might be a way to get some legal advice for free from a lawyer who knows California restraining order law intimately.

      I really wish you guys the best with ironing all of this out.

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  10. Hi Jill, I do not know of many others forums. This is a great one though. If you post your story people will try to help you and give you ideas.

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  11. Thank you. I do not mind ‘revealing’ myself in a forum like the one you emailed. And I would look forward to working to change the laws. I have finalized my motion to expunge and will be mailing it this week. I do not have great expectations of the Massachusetts (Brockton) court system to even read my motion much less consider granting it. I know the majority of people in my situation are men but I’m sure there are a lot of women like me that remain silent also. I will complete the form on that website and hopefully hear from someone. Thanks again for all your help.

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    • It’s hard, I know. It was a couple of years before I was comfortable talking about this stuff at all. I’ve since talked about it with friends, associates, and even employers/clients. Their reactions without exception have equated with “How awful!” FYI. Good luck achieving some resolution, Ally.

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    • Ally, I am a woman this happened to and I’m doing what I can to not let this happen to men or women, especially when children are involved. I’m not ashamed and I’m not remaining silent because the silence perpetuates these crimes. What action/education based forums are out there for those who are not remaining silent. Jill

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  12. Curious,

    I was living in MA originally then moved to FL. He was in FL with me for weeks on end for a total of 1/2 a year. This is getting a little too similar.

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    • Ally,

      He is between the ages of 26 and 30 now. He spoke of being in the army in his early 20s, but much of what he told me has proven to be untrue, so I’m not sure about that. He does not hold a college degree, although he professes to have taken “lots of college courses.” He did tell me that he lived in FL several years ago, but that he returned to MA (out of the goodness of his heart) to “help” a family member. I have always wondered if, in reality, he returned because of some sort of legal trouble in FL, or possibly pending legal trouble that he had to take care of in MA. I don’t know exactly when he returned to MA from FL, but I do know that he has lived in MA for at least 3 years now. He does, however, continue to visit FL on what seems to be a very regular basis. Sorry this description is so convoluted!

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  13. Curious, what age group is ‘ryan’ in?
    Can you email me privately?

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  14. Todd, that would be great. Thank you so much.

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  15. No not Ryan but if you’d like to compare notes and discuss legal options please let me know.

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  16. Hi Todd, I would be willing to be a female helping to change the way RO’s are handed out like candy. My boyfriend filed one against me after a verbal phone argument 1500 miles away. He was in MA and I lived in FL. He lived over half the year in FL with me but was in MA at the time. He was due to receive a settlement for a lawsuit he won in which he promised to pay me for all the work I did on it. About 2 months before he filed the RO. I could not afford to go to MA to fight it. The judge (after sending her 2 letters) allowed me a hearing to vacate by phone, then rescinded it after the plaintiff complained about having to be present and not me. After the order expired I filed a civil suit against him for the money he owes me. He has lied throughout that so far but now I have contradicting statements he made for the RO and his answer to the FL court. I was recently turned down for a job (and I’m sure many others) because of this showing up on my record. I have now decided I want to motion the court to expunge. Any help out there on how to go about it? I heard I can also claim libel/slander against him also.

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    • Obviously, I’m really sorry you’re going through this. It kills you that this process is tailored to enable rotten people to induce the courts to punish their victims.

      Attorney Gregory Hession is in Massachusetts, Ally, and he specializes in restraining order defense and is one of the most outspoken critics of restraining order law.

      Read his blog posts on restraining orders and give the office a call. His website is MassOutrage.com.

      How to Fight A False Allegation Restraining Order

      Best wishes with this, Ally. FYI, the statute of limitation for libel is often a year, meaning to sue for defamation requires that the objectionable statements were made within the 12 months prior to your filing your complaint.

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      • Todd,

        I have conversed with Mr. Heisson during the RO period. I was hoping someone on this board could give me some pointers on filing the motion to expunge without costing a lot of money.

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        • The hows and whats can vary from state to state. Probably you could get a local attorney there to tell you how to do this yourself. So much of these games are about persuasive power, though, impressions (rules and rituals). A judge who’ll rubber-stamp a motion from an attorney will totally discount the same motion from a self-represented defendant. The substance should be what counts, but it rarely is.

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    • Ally – The circumstances of your case(s) are making me think that perhaps we have been targeted by the same sociopath. Without compromising your privacy, could you tell me if the first name of your ex is “Ryan”?

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      • Dear Curious,

        HIs name isn’t ‘Ryan’ but you have that in quotes. Is your situation the same with the states and all?

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        • Ally – yes, his name is Ryan. The situation in not exactly the same, but your description of the involved party sounds similar. My guy lives in MA, but was constantly disappearing to ‘visit friends’ in Florida. He also told me he was involved in some sort of legal case and that he stood to receive a substantial sum of money once it was resolved, although he was always quite vague about it and I never pressed for details. He is a classic physical and verbal abuser – lying, manipulative, and without conscience. He filed a completely false restraining order against me in a MA court, and the woman judge actually granted it. It has been like a living nightmare, as I’m sure you can imagine!

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    • Todd,

      I actually have conversed with Greg Heisson regarding my situation. I’m looking for help filing an expungement (sp?) with the court.

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      • Awesome, Ally. You’re not going to find a more zealous advocate. If this pans out, please let me know what your experience was like and how exactly the expungement was accomplished. (No word processor I’ve used likes the spelling of “expungement”!)

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        • Todd, I conversed with Mr. Heisson during the RO. It’s expired now. I was hoping to get some help on filing this expungement. (and thank you, I knew I was spelling it right, lol)

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          • Ally, you might consider starting a legal fundraiser, on GoFundMe, for example. This is best done through Facebook, but I’d be glad to post a button for you on the site.

            You could also call the hotline on Citzens Justice Association and see if there are any law students there who are in Massachusetts and would be willing to help. My advice would be to get the best possible help you can, because you want this to work. Boom…done.

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            • I just wanted to add that I’ve consulted numerous attorneys along the way regarding expungement of civil restraining orders, and although some have said it can be done, more have said that it cannot. From what I’ve heard, there is no protocol for expunging a civil matter. It’s a sad state of affairs if a criminal felony can be fairly easily expunged, but a bogus civil matter stays on public record for all eternity! I plan to explore this more thoroughly once the dust has settled.

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              • Curious, this isn’t the same person but if you want to chat privately maybe we can assist each other. I’m not sure of the circumstances of why he filed a RO and I’d rather not go any more in depth on our situations in a public forum.

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          • Curious,

            I was living in MA originally then moved to FL. He was in FL with me for weeks on end for a total of 1/2 a year. This is getting a little too similar.

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          • Todd, I will start a fundraise on GoFundMe. How do I have you post a button? I’d rather not put it on FB for my acquaintances to see. I appreciate this so much.

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            • It seems like there’s some kind of utility on the site that lets you make a button (hypertext). Also you can just provide me with whatever art you use with your petition, and I can link a picture to a web address. Facebook is the best place to put this, though, because it’s your family and acquaintances who are most likely to contribute and spread the word. You might just want to come clean about this horror. People in general are pretty sympathetic when the victim is a woman, and your close friends and relatives will surely know you’re not Freddy Kruger. I know exactly how you feel, of course. I was mortified when this happened to me and didn’t talk about it (or much else) with anyone for a couple of years.

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              • Kelly Holland

                November 8, 2013

                Good afternoon Todd,

                Well I finally put a fundraiser request on Indiegogo. The link is http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-for-attorneys-fees/x/3979799

                I would so appreciate you putting this on your blog. I do not want it on my FB. I have old childhood acquaintances and my ex and I have some of the same friends. I would prefer he not be made aware, not to mention what happened to me is still embarrassing.

                Please let me know if it’s a possibility. I have attached the draft of the Motion to Expunge. Might be interesting reading or help someone else. I believe I deleted any reference to a direct address or full name. I never know where he is lurking to this day.

                Thank you for your support.

                Abby

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                • I’ll see what I can do this weekend to make this a little more prominent. The likelihood of a benevolent angel swooping down is a lot iffier than people you know lending support (like family and even childhood friends). FYI. Still, we’ll do what we can.

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                • I looked at the page you set up. I’m afraid that’s going to be too anonymous. I totally get your aversion to publicity and scrutiny. Unfortunately there’s no way to appeal to people’s sympathies unless you get them to identify with you. You’d stand a much better chance of attracting help if you posted a picture of yourself. I’m sorry, but this is the reality. Also trying to raise a sum like $10,000 in less than three weeks is going to be all but impossible. You’d be likelier to get a large sum from someone you knew well or addressed a personal appeal to. If you’re trying to appeal to the sympathy of complete strangers, you’re going to need a visual hook. Also you’ll want to describe your situation in terms everyone can understand and that appeals to their feelings.

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  17. confused

    July 28, 2013

    i was recently arrested at my house. at the time i was not told why i was being handcuffed except that there was an investigation. i asked several times. these city officers delivered me to county deputys. they told me i was under arrest for “stalking” rsmo 565.225 and taken to jail. my bond was $500. the event that i was arrested and charged over went like this:

    the girl and myself had a friends with occasional benefits type relationship. this was initiated in april of 2013. we have some mutual friends and we liked to keep our business to ourselves. on occasion people would question us as to the degree of our relationship. we would just blow this off and try to avoid it. however there are text messages between us that shed light on things between us. such as talking about how these people inquire and we find it funny how we respond. she was friendly to my kids, took them shopping, bought them stuff. me and my kids had stayed the night at her house on several occasions and she had spent nights at my house.

    so this noseyness finally wears on us. we stopped talking for about 2 weeks.she tried to contact me but i did not reply. then she contacts my daughter via facebook asking her to inform me she wants to speak to me.

    on my daughters facebook account we talk. she tells me she misses and loves me. i had deactivated my facebook and this girls phone was stolen by her “friends”. so we spoke and made friendly again. so after reactivating facebook she tells me that shes chipped my hand with a tracking device while i was sleeping. we talked about her over reacting we talked about being best friends.

    then an incident happens to her ex boyfriends car, his car window is hit twice with a maglite. the girl asks me to get surveillance video from the local bar i work at. i do and provide her with the video. (no its not me!) she contacts the guys who were involved and they make arrangements to fix it instead of the ex bf filing charges. a week later i ask the girl about that situation and we get into an argument. we dont speak for another week or so after.

    then one night i drove a drunk friend home which lived near her, so on the way back i stopped at her house and text her. she works nights but was off this night, has kept me up many nights in person and on the phone til the sun came up. so contacting her or visiting her at 1 am would not seem unreasonable to me. she replies with an attitude and im trying to defuse and get past the last argument. i ask her to come outside and talk to me she refused. i went to the back porch and took a picture of the door while sitting in her patio chair and said” look im out on your deck please come out and talk to me”

    she called the police. im really confused about this stalking charge because in the statute it says
    “Course of conduct”, a pattern of conduct composed of two or more acts, which may include communication by any means, over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose.
    “Credible threat”, a threat communicated with the intent to cause the person who is the target of the threat to reasonably fear for his or her safety,… The threat must be against the life of, or a threat to cause physical injury to, or the kidnapping of, the person,”
    “Harasses”, to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that serves no legitimate purpose, that would cause a reasonable person under the circumstances to be frightened, intimidated, or emotionally distressed.

    so how can stalking apply to something that only happened once? i never threatened her and i never intended any harm to her. i have facebook messages of her admitting to overreacting once before calling me names and with her mother telling me that she is like the wind. fine one minute and mf-ing everyone the next.

    my arrest i have questions about too. i think alot of improper things happened. they took my phone and keys and never gave me a receipt for my property even after bonding. they took me from my house in my underwear without resist, denied telling me why, denied me clothes, or shoes. then police came back to my house and woke up my 12 year old son at 6 am and made him leave his home. they held me in jail for 13 hours before issuing a warrant and a bond.

    how should i handle this? i have court soon

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    • Do everything you can to obtain representation. I understand your confusion, of course. You’re expecting the truth to mean something, and you’re right to expect this. It should. It doesn’t, though. A “course of conduct” can easily be established by someone you’ve had this sort of a relationship with. Your accuser can characterize any contacts you’ve had, whether in person or by telephone, text, or email any way she wants. Even if the day before she told you she loved you, she can say today that she’s always been afraid of you. All of this seems incomprehensible. Certainly it’s reprehensible. But this is how these things work.

      Please try to get a lawyer if you won’t automatically be appointed one. The court won’t ask you what happened; it will tell you what it supposes or wants the truth to be. And that will be the “truth” recorded on public record for posterity.

      Your treatment by the police sounds outrageous. What possible explanation could they have had for not allowing you to dress?

      I’m sorry for you. The indignities of these processes are dehumanizing, plain and simple.

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      • confused

        July 28, 2013

        i was outside on my porch smoking a cigarette when the police approached me. i was told to stay there and drop my cigarette and phone. i asked why repeatedly i was being handcuffed and told an investigation. i asked for clothes and shoes. they had me walk about 200 yards to their cars barefoot and only wearing underwear. my house is kind of secluded. they have seized my phone and will not return it saying it is evidence.

        there was never any act on my part that would compel her to feel threatened of me. my phone certainly will have evidence of that. but i am unable to access that data. there was never any prior violence or police involvement concerning our interactions. never any prior act of her telling me not to be at her house.

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      • confused

        July 29, 2013

        update: today i procured the probable cause statement. i have discovered some false statements included quoted her saying things i have proof of being lies via facebook messages. i read a bunch of caselaw for my state. i got good information by searching for the statute number or name of charge. i will be filing false report charge on her with this knowledge and facebook texts. the pc statement has many quoted texts we traded, none quoted are threatening or indicate hostility. most stalking statutes require a “credible threat” which is to threaten their life or another member of their house.. etc.. so i can feel better about now that i have a better idea of what i have to deal with.

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        • You’re thinking along the right lines. Look for inconsistencies and things that comment on the nature of your relationship. Also get friends involved. No sense being coy anymore. And do, do, do try to obtain attorney representation. Trust me that any number of people walk into courtrooms to contest allegations like this every day, confident that the truth will be plain to anyone, and are disappointed. Even crushed, because instead of understanding and vindication, they’re met with further humiliation and condemnation.

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  18. Madison

    July 18, 2013

    I have a question:

    My best friend of 5 years just up and left and stopped wanting contact.
    I haven’t talked to him in 2 months. Someone wrote a complaint to his work to get him fired and it had “my name on it”.
    Can he get a restraining order on me even though there wasn’t any contact for 2 months? Not even through friends?
    He says he is putting one on me but I don’t know if I believe him. He had police officers come to my house saying we had been in a “relationship”
    (We dated in middle school and I just graduated high school).

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    • The first thing to know is that people get restraining orders by lying all the time, Madison, and in some areas all an applicant has to say is, “I feel afraid.” That’s it. Most boys have too much pride to say they’re afraid of girls, so you’re probably okay that way. He could still spin a convincing story, sure, but if he hasn’t explicitly asked you to leave him alone (repeatedly), he doesn’t have grounds for a restraining order. Again, that conclusion is per the letter of the law. In these matters, the rules aren’t always minded, though.

      What in the world was the police visit about?

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      • Madison

        July 19, 2013

        They told me I was harassing him by sending “the emails” to his work. They said I could go to jail for this “kind of stuff” and that I can’t talk to him. And since we had dated before (which I don’t think they realized he was talking about middle school) it made it “domestic”. So they told me not to talk to him or through a third party otherwise I will go to jail.
        I asked “is this a restraining order” and they said “no but if this harassment continues, he is looking into it”
        And they left me with that.

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        • If a couple of months have gone by, and you haven’t roiled the waters any, I would imagine that’s going to be an end on it. Unless someone’s messing with you and setting you up. If you’re not the author of “the emails” or “the complaint,” you can tell the police that. You can request a different officer, explain your side of things, and see what s/he recommends. S/he might even call the guy and tell him whatever it is you need to say. Like you’re innocent or whatever. If you have engaged in any conduct that can be framed as “harassing,” do take this very seriously, though.

          I don’t want to encourage you to toy with the system. Half the editorials on this blog are about this and the damages it does. But the truth is you could probably sashay into a courthouse Monday, say this man is harassing you by filing false police reports, threatening you, etc., and there’s a better than 50-50 chance that you would get a restraining order against him. If you were evil, you could even say this person’s been after you since you were 13. Get it? It’s a game. And, as it often plays out, a very ugly one. (You could probably just say, “I’m afraid, and I haven’t been able to sleep” and get a restraining order against the guy who’s threatening you with one.)

          Friends, lovers, neighbors, sisters and brothers, parents and kids all end up at each other’s throats.

          Best wishes, Madison.

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  19. Todd
    Your knowledge and suggestions on the restraining order has been very helpful
    I am planning to sue for everything I can. I did start recording (audio) my conversations with my sister before the civil protection order was filed on me.My reasons at the time were simply trying to expose her sociopathic personality to my family, and protect myself from her further abuse of me.I also have diagnosed mental disorders which she has been a root of since my childhood,which are all documented.
    And through my own disorder and poor judgement,I let her get to me.She knows every button to push to anger me.Shes good at it.
    I now have a harrasment violation summons on me that I am due in court on thursday 6/20/13.I have read that it wont be DV because our relationship is not intimate.I have an attorney to represent me on the criminal charge, however he is not up on civil laws. I have also read that by pleaing out I will have no chance of killing the order.Which it sounds like it isn’t worth the time anyhow.
    However I am not sure if pleaing out will kill any chances of civil suits.Also I am also wondering if I can file my own restraining order for mental abuse of a “at risk adult”.This whole situation is much more complicated but these are some quick questions.I’ve read your site on DIY and think that I can approach the civil cases by following your advice and doing the research.I just hope that I’m not doing it from a prison library.
    Are my questions anything that you could help me out with.
    Thank You,

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    • Remember that restraining orders are basically prejudgments and that once a judge approves a plaintiff’s order, you need a really compelling game changer to jar the next judge out of his complacency. If you sue, you need a succinct, streamlined, and vigorous complaint that’s substantiated by other people. You’ll need witnesses. Those could be family members or your doctor (psychologist or psychiatrist), etc. A judge will think a lawsuit based on a restraining order is extreme, because most judges are indifferent to how restraining orders are abused if they’re even that aware that they are abused. Judges mainly rule on what scenario seems most plausible. They’re not into playing detective or thinking subtly. Also judges don’t like self-represented litigants. So you’d be up against it. FYI.

      I don’t see why your lawyer couldn’t move to have the restraining order vacated. For such a motion to succeed, though, without the cooperation of the plaintiff, you’d need to prove fraud or that the order was unlawfully issued. Something like that.

      All this hell for what? And from your own sister? I’m sorry you’re going through this. Good luck in court.

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    • Anonymous

      June 18, 2013

      Thank you Todd

      It may be a fantasy of mine. But after a misdemeanor harrassment charge(with sister),and the recording I gave the Police of the argument that showed the real victim,all prior to the protection order,although related to it.And that my attorney’s first words after coming out of the prosecutor office was “stay as far away from this crazy women as possible”.Maybe they saw her record of her 3 previous marriages and a trail of CPO’s .It’s my guess.that they want her gone also. Maybe there are offices of the law that are getting tired of the abuse of this so called law and the resources needed to enforce it.
      I do know the Police were totally respectful of me all 7 times they were called to my residence.They had to enforce the law.
      Fighting this “miscarriage of Law” by telling the people who make the laws..that this law needs changing,,please,,,,,Is the solution
      Your sites and the links were not only a help for me in the imformation provided but supportive of my own self-being.I’m thankfull that no children were involved,just more of the victims

      Thanks

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      • Glad if I’ve helped you. What an ordeal.

        I had the same experience with cops. Constable was nice. Cops were nice. Judges…not so much. Unfortunately all these law officers/officers of the court get paid to administrate this mayhem.

        There are some online attorneys, FYI, who focus on fighting restraining orders, like Gregory Hession (MassOutrage.com).

        If your sister has done this over and over and over, that might be grounds for you to attack the validity of the order against you.

        Keep on keeping on.

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        • Anonymous

          June 19, 2013

          Again Thanks
          Maybe you just woke me up.I talked to my attorney this morning,I’m not sure if he’s worth my money.But he does claim to fight CPO violations.
          Anyhow he told me tommorow i’ll be pleading or asking for a continuance.I think I’ll probally go for the continuance and see if he is worth the money. see if he can use some real facts to kill the thing.If not I’ll have more time to go shopping.
          She(sis) didn’t go away 25 years ago,and shes back to screw me again.

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          • I’m really glad this is an option for you. For most people the costs (five figures, usually) are prohibitive. There’s a page on Attorney Gregory Hession’s site called, “Fighting False Restraining Orders.” It’s good reading. He even offers an audio seminar for sale, FYI (I’ve never heard it). There’s a strong psych-out effect to employing a lawyer, also. And it sounds like yours believes in you. That’s big.

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          • Anonymous

            June 22, 2013

            Todd
            I was able to come away with a continuance for my violation.My attorney wants to try to mitigate that she was the instigator.Anyhow I can enjoy the summer.
            Hey,my violation happened in the courtroom lobby and she claims I hit with a water bottle.
            Simply, I did Not,this is another false claim of hers,this time my violation is against state(I think) and she made a false statement.And it is on the security tapes,can she be charged for some sort of false statement?
            Also this is probably thin ice but her claim of neededing to “take care of my mother” is different on the “final hearing” and the “motion to modify”,again all in writing.
            Could this be something maybe to follow up to get the CPO killed.
            I think I read in one of your articles..When others think I’m an lunny because of my statements of, and trying to prove my innocence to them,,well that haven’t lived on this side of a RO
            Great comfort for me
            I just spent an hour and a half trying to explain to my mother how I never got the chance to face my accuser on the CPO hearnings,only through judge.That I never had the chance to ask the plaintiff(sister,a woman) to prove her claims…I still dont think she understands it or believes it. I think its most likely a sterotype opinon most folks share, and the sociopath uses their ignorance to their advantage
            It’s just another way they abuse, this time they tell their lies to people(family) to get their storys believed, and the family ends up hating the defendent(me)

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            • If you were representing yourself, pointing out these lies would probably go in one judicial ear and out the other. Since you have an attorney, though, yeah, they would probably be worth bringing up. Sociopaths aren’t stupid. And some are very intelligent and cunning. You’re not going to catch them in screamingly obvious lies. Only in lies that take some effort to expose. If your attorney could put that across and then reveal the lies, that might be worth something. Plus, how the **** do you hurt somebody with a water bottle?! I’m probably stronger than you, and I really don’t think I could bruise myself with a water bottle. Unless by ramming the cap in the same place over and over.

              Was your sister the “favored child” or “golden child”? Is/was one or the other of your parents (mom?) particularly close to and invested in the future of your sister?

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  20. Christine

    June 12, 2013

    Hi Todd. I would love to be a female who would be an advocate for retraining order reform. I’ll send you a private email with my contact information so you can give me your feedback on how you think I can be involved and effective. I’ll share my story…

    I had a four year harassment restraining order filed against me two years ago. My abusive ex boyfriend who is the father of my two children filed one after my (then) three year old son called him repeatedly one night. This is seriously the only contact that there was from me to him. My ex also did not deny that was the only contact in months. I admitted to the calls taking place. Truthfully I was happy that he was called. My ex kept calling my son drunk then hanging up on him. So he was able to get the order because the judge said that the calls were technically repeated and there was no purpose so he granted the order. This gave my ex the ammunition that he needed to not see my children for over two years. About two months ago he started to see them again but the communication between us is non-existent. There is just no way to co-parent the kids and not have any communication. We only speak in family court for child support arrearage hearings. You had better believe that my ex is telling the judge and everybody else that he has “had to get a restraining order against me”. Some of the stories that I have heard is that he is telling people that the judge has granted a restraining order “protecting” his entire family and friends. I am a professional so I also have to live with people googling my court information. I am seeking new employment so of course I will have to speak to this order. Everybody is going to be asking themselves in the back of their head how terrible I must have been for my ex to have had to file a restraining order.

    So my issue is I know that it is easy to file a restraining order. There is no accountability for the person filing. My ex uses it as a shield to avoid being a parent. This is very damaging to me in my personal and professional life. There was no basis for the order. Sub-story..He has emailed me in the past. He demanded that he be able to pick up the kids and that I had to email him back per our family court order. When I replied to the email and told him that it was ok to pick up the kids, he submitted it to the police. Thankfully they did nothing with it when they saw his threats to me that I had to reply. This could have cost me money and even jail time. Who is the abuser here? Restraining orders can and are abused. Myself and my kids are the victims. They can really wreck lives and cost a lot of money and grief.

    I’ll be happy to fight for restraining order reform!!! Please comment if you like. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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    • Good for you, Christine. There’s no faulting your strength of character or resilience.

      No one who hasn’t been exposed to this process can understand the willingness of judges to rule prejudicially or shallowly (or shallowly in defense of having formed a prejudgment). There’s no oversight. Judges don’t really have to answer to anyone for their conduct in this arena. A judge will hammer a square rule into a round hole with his gavel every time to avoid having to acknowledge error and rescind one of these orders.

      A little boy calls his dad several times in a row. Dad then represents some calls placed minutes or hours apart as crank calls made in spite of his asking to be left alone. Maybe the judge notes or understands the calls were back-to-back; maybe he doesn’t and presumes they were over a period of days or weeks. Maybe the judge cares; maybe he doesn’t.

      Sicker yet, the honest party in a controversy like this invariably gets screwed. You can’t go through this without coming to the unavoidable and nauseous conclusion that the prize goes to the best liar.

      Sickest of all is that if you had filed a restraining order against your children’s father based on the drunk dialing/hangups, you’d have gotten it. Since he filed first and got the bureaucratic paperwork piling up in his favor, he’s the victim, and you’re the villain. Now that he has the order, the legal basis for which was the judge’s finding he was annoyed for no legitimate purpose, he can say anything he wants. A judge or two signed off on the restraining order, so there must be a good reason for it.

      On the one hand you want to say it’s all just ridiculous. The fact that this can tear lives apart, destroy careers and relationships, scar children, and lead people who’ve been abused by it to alcoholism or drug abuse, for example, or cause them to get into accidents or develop diseases because of prolonged sleep deprivation or emotional distress makes this process a whole lot worse than a bad joke. It’s a cancer.

      I’ll get in touch soon for sure. I’m still in court. I’m absolutely convinced of the truth of everything you’ve said and think you must be a pretty remarkable person and a pretty great mom, too.

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  21. Thurston Twigg-Smith Jr.

    March 16, 2013

    Hi Todd- my son recently had a restraining order served on him by his wife which required him to leave their property. His business is there and he has a large amount af assets and personal property that he can not personally protect. Is there some type of Ryder he can ask for that would prevent his soon to be ex from selling/ damaging/ destroying these things until he is allowed to return? Thanks for your thoughts.

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    • What a remarkable name you have. I’m sorry to hear about this. The best course would be to secure the services of a competent attorney. Your son needs to have access to his business, obviously, and if the break between husband and wife was a really bitter one, you’re right to worry about what she’ll do with or to his property. If he has no access to his belongings or even cash, you may have to help him out with initial costs. Just talking with a lawyer on the phone (brief consult) is free. Confirm beforehand that an attorney can help you, because no lawyer I’ve ever met had the least scruple about billing for hundreds or even thousands of dollars for doing nothing. An attorney could also help your son attack and invalidate/vacate the restraining order. I really wish you guys the best.

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  22. questions

    March 8, 2013

    I’m not sure about the legality of this, but has anyone ever thought of having a website that lists the names of people who have filed restraining orders that were later found to have no merit? It seems unfair that even when the restraining order is found to have no merit or is based on lies, the falsely accused person still has the taint of the accusation on them. It’s in court records and if an emergency order of protection is filed it comes up on background checks. In most states neither of these can be expunged. Yet, the person who placed the false restraining order walks away scot free. I feel like their actions should be documented somewhere if for no other reason than to let other potential victims know that this is a person who could ruin your life with a lie.

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    • Restraining order recipients in some regions are now being placed in registries for easy access by the public. Like sex offenders. What you propose would seem fair, and it would be legal, sure. The problem is no one would care unless you also explained the consequences to defendants of plaintiffs’ lying to the courts. The public understands RESTRAINING ORDER and all that it implies. The public doesn’t understand fraud, perjury, etc. or the evil they do. Your points are very valid ones and get at the heart of the injustice of this process and of the damage it inflicts on people’s lives.

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    • I like it!

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  23. I had a Order of Protection ex parte placed on me from an ex-girlfriend in another state. The order and police report indicated that I had broken into her home at 2:00am in the morning and “roughed” her up then left at 4:00 am.

    The problem was I wasn’t even in the state at the time. I had to verify my where a bouts with receipts and phone logs and hire attorney to represent me at the hearing. Two minutes before the hearing was to begin my attorney pulled the prosecutor aside and showed him my receipts. After reviewing the prosecutor pulled the ex-girlfriend aside and showed her the receipts. She promptly whispered in his ear. The prosecutor then turned to the judge and said the plaintiff has decided to dismiss the charges your honor.
    That was it ….case dismissed. However I am out $3500 dollars between the attorney and travel expenses. I did go down to the area prosecuting attorney’s office and filed a complaint of a false police report and to the local sheriff’s office as well to amend the police report. I was told that these charges of filing false police reports were rarely followed up by the local prosecutor. My name was in the local paper and the protective order is on the county internet which shows that I was charged with Domestic Violence on such date. It does not say it was dismissed. I want my name cleared.

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    • Jesus, Jeff, I’m sorry. What does the attorney you paid $3,500 say about clearing your record? I think your investment merits you a follow-up phone consult at least. Both filing a false police report (lying to the police) and perjury (lying to the court) are crimes (the former is a misdemeanor, and the latter is a felony); but the county attorney’s office will tell you it has bigger fish to fry. This game has been in place for decades now, and you’re not going find anyone in government with integrity enough to put his or her career on the line to crusade for you. You can, though, sue this woman for damages and introduce the same evidence in court that your lawyer showed to the county prosecutor. If you wanted bigger money than $5,000, you’d have to file a lawsuit, but you could recover the $3,500 in small claims. You may have a solid enough case that a lawyer would sue for you on contingency if your ex-girlfriend has enough money or assets to make it worthwhile (for fraud, defamation, etc.). Bringing the matter to the attention of another judge would also give you the opportunity to request additional forms of relief other than monetary. And, Jeff, if the charges were dismissed, they should be dismissed. Don’t hesitate to go to the courthouse and file a motion to talk with a judge. They’re supposed to be available to the good guys, too.

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      • Anonymous

        February 4, 2013

        On the day the charges were dismissed. I went to the local sheriffs office and had the original police report revised. Then I went to the local prosecutor and filed a complaint on her for filing a false police report.. To date no one and I mean no one from the Sheriff’s Department or the Prosecutors office has asked one ..not one question about this, or have I gotten any response from either entities.
        I had my attorney forward to her a Cease and Dit letter by certified mail and hand delivered to her place of work demanding that she no longer file false police reports or defame or libel me any anyway.
        My attorney did a background check on her by ordering police reports from former address she lived at prior. The police reports are free you just have to request indicating an on going investigation. Guess what… she has done the at least 3-4 times before including but not limited to a unfounded rape allegation. And guess what not one conviction not one arrested not one citation.
        I am going to forward this information to the Prosecuting Attorneys office and demand she be charged base on current and past history. Why are they protecting this woman? Everyone knows she lied and has lied in the past . What the hell is going on ? This is crazy!

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        • This system has been allowed to metastasize out of control for three decades now. Your case illustrates what I’ve harped on: no accountability, no safeguards against abuses, and very little interest in bucking the status quo by those with the political wherewithal to make a difference (it’s a hot potato). The point of this institution (restraining orders) was to protect at-risk women, and it’s a blasphemy when it’s viciously exploited that it’s in no one’s interest to recognize—except, that is, the victims’. I’m really glad for you that you had the evidence to nip this in the bud, and best wishes in achieving a measure of justice and recovering your peace of mind.

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  24. We’ve been dealing with this for three years and i’ve done my best to try and see all sides. That is not always possible but my partner and I work to support each other when one is falling into the hole from having no agency in our lives. Our emotions run the gammet from rage and intellectual bankruptcy, to feeling sorry for ourselves and wanting to inflict punishment. Neither of us are violent by nature so we craft stupid ideas we’d never act on. For instance, this woman is a homophobic so we fantasize about putting a gay pride sticker on her vehicle…and all manner of other immature retaliations.

    At the end of the day, we conclude -and remind one another of the two things we know- “You can’t expect rationality from a crazy person” and “We don’t negotiate with terrorists”. That’s it. I’ve considered a civil action given the number of false accusations but I’ve realized this woman really fancies herself as the center of the world and more court performances provide her a stage to act out her bizzaire thinking with an audience. I don’t want to fuel her sense of power- we want to arrest it and the only way we know is to not respond to communication. Additionally, one has to be irreparably harmed by clear malicious prosecution- i’d be spending oodles of energy going to a therapist to document my emotional harm, getting myself fired to prove I’m a basket case from her, and all manner of other vehicles to prove I’m victimized. It’s not worth it and would be in direct conflict with my respect for the judicial system. I would be abusing it as she has and that wouldn’t help my sense of self a bit.

    The judicial system is flawed—always was and always will be in every society—but it’s not a static system. Decades ago, no one would believe a woman was harassed and husbands could throw their wives in the looney bin….the scales have tipped to the opposite extreme whereas females can cry wolf repeatedly and the system is REQUIRED to treat each as a new case. It sucks for many people who are on the innocent end of abuse of process situations, but it will change through case law and new statutes and perhaps the playing field will even out in time. We have to remember that a Court of law is not about justice, it’s about equity. So having a restraining order against you when you haven’t done something to put a reasonable person in physical harm sucks and is offenive to ones sense of justice, but it’s not as bad as being thrown in jail and having a permanent record…court of equity, not justice.

    I would tell men, as a general rule of thumb, that once you have had experience with someone whose off and not rational, to learn from it ONCE and recognize the jackasses of my gender straight away and stay away.

    Historonic, narcissist, and otherwise whacked people share a few similarities. They’ve been wronged by everyone they no longer associate with (and it’ll be a long list of people), they push verbally in order to elicit a physical altercation, they can’t be wrong, and they are revisionist historians about events and conversations with you….to the point where you doubt your own memory or intentions. So you run from these people and don’t look back.

    Until the judicial system catches up with the abuses of its laws, we all have to protect ourselves to the point of hyper vigilance.

    It would be nice to see a freshman level college course about basic laws and self-preservation in the current political-gender climate. I wonder how to effect such a course at a community college…

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    • I feel you. I’ve been bucking this for six years. I’d meant to be a children’s writer, and having something like this hanging over you and perpetually there to pop up like a hellish jack-in-the-box has been emotionally and professionally crippling. On top of some grave economic setbacks coming on the heels of this ordeal, I’ve been all but reduced to penury. Like most writers and artists I know. My dog—who’s been my emotional bulwark throughout this period—has been in need of a surgery for five months, and my money and emotional resources are tapped. I’ve had to watch as her strength diminishes day by day.

      You’ve underscored the problem: reason can’t arbitrate in a situation like this; and when there’s no recourse to reason and facts (a.k.a. rule of law a.k.a. civilization), you’re left with tooth and nail. You obviously have a keen knowledge of the law, but I think you could certainly sue for your monetary costs. Those aren’t a question of interpretation: bills and lost time are bills and lost time. Of course, my esteem for the judicial system isn’t as high as yours! 🙂

      That’s another one of those conundrums. Applying for a restraining order is cheap if not free most places so that people (women) in need are guaranteed access. (Restraining orders were originally conceived to address domestic violence.) For a villain who lives for an audience, though, this is a virtually irresistible invitation to assume center stage. You get to have men with gavels and guns do your bidding! How cool is that?

      What you’ve said is at the heart of this, I know. Women are the ones who’ve traditionally gotten the raw deal. That’s why the (equity) feminists of my mother’s generation will always have my sympathy and loyalty. They were fighting a very real injustice (one that no longer endures to the extent that today’s neo-mainstream feminists would have us believe).The problem is instead of socially evolving and achieving gender equality or equity, we’ve just flipped the bias to pacify outcry. The system not only reacts to a woman’s allegations now but too often takes them as gospel. I live in Arizona where this kind of thing is permanently recorded. In some places, there are even restraining order registries for convenient public access (by employers or neighbors, for example). In a criminal proceeding, at least, you’re entitled to an attorney and a jury of your peers, and allegations are rigorously vetted (knock wood). In terms of public perception, allegations of acts that are criminal become validated by a judge’s signing off on a “civil” restraining order—which is ex parte and based on a very brief interview—so it’s the same as if you’d done them even though you don’t have to serve time. And some people do have to serve time if they’re injudicious enough to do something as innocuous as calling a child they’re forbidden to see or responding to their restraining order petitioners’ requests to meet. I’ve gotten any number of queries along the lines of “should I?” (FYI for anyone out there with this question: NO.)

      The system’s evolving to give serious consideration to women’s plaints is a product of social pressures. A positive one, obviously. I think the system changes, though, more as a response to external (political) influence than self-regulation and -revision. Talking about the need for change is a start. So thanks again for contributing, M. I actually did sue and request that the fraudulent restraining order against me be equitably vacated. As a man, I didn’t find the court to be just or equitable.

      Looking back on this, I think that intro to law you suggest should be part of the grade school curriculum! Fully a third of the people who query this blog are basically asking, “What do I do?” Getting an injunction that says you’re a menace is paralyzing, and I think most people who receive restraining orders are completely overwhelmed and don’t know where to turn. What do you do? Especially if you’re a man. Anywhere you turn you’re facing humiliation and possibly damning judgment, because people’s reflex reaction is to reappraise you through slitted eyes (or at best to duck their heads). I think this leaves many in the position of eating it, limping away, and hoping no one finds out.

      Which is no way to have to live.

      You and your boyfriend have fortunately had each other to lean on. In many if not most cases, it’s the significant other who’s doing the accusing. I really admire you guys for weathering this so philosophically.

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  25. Hi Todd,

    I was the target of a Restraining Order (RO) recently. By the grace of the gods of reason, an excellent reply brief, an alert judge, and good counsel, the application for a permanent restraining order was dismissed. The Temporary RO was improperly granted by a commissioner (Commissioner Judith Sanders-Contra Costa Superior Court), and the Court (Judge Bruce Mills) recognized the allegations, even if true, did not rise to the level of harrassment warranting a RO. He said he had never had the occasion in his 17 years but was calling it a Directed Verdict on its face but would give the plaintiff an opportunity to plead her case. She described the events as only a practiced victim knows how: each detail twisted into a personal attack directed at her, her sleepless nights knowing I’m out there somewhere waiting to get her, and her inability to function as a result of my terrifying actions.

    All this drama, expense, and wasted energy a result of her attempts to garner credibility with family court in order to gain sole custody of her child. You see, I’m the girlfriend of her ex husband. When over 30 calls to the police alleging domestic violence against him did not result in any arrests (all made post-separation); when two Child & Family Services investigations back-fired and were deemed Unfounded and eroded her credibility; and when withholding custody of my partners son resulted in her being held in contempt by family court (court costs, costs to my partner, and community service all sentenced to her and none of which she has performed eithin the time allotted or at all to date); she took it to the next level and instead of going after my partner, she tried to go after me. If she had succeeded in getting a RO, she could then use it to demonstrate her son was in harms way in my presence and withhold custody.

    All the stress and expense I dealt with over this RO hearing was the result of my serving her documents on behalf of my partner….in response to HER ex-parte application to the court to hear why her ex was financially abusing her by not paying a bill for which she herself was responsible (and prior stipulated to in writing).

    RO’s, police, family services…all scary agencies when you’ve done no wrong and fighting an uphill battle with an emotional terrorist (narcissist, historonic, maladaptive…who knows what she is clinically). I will tell you though, in the 3 years we have dealt with this nutter, we’ve learned that being right or clearing our name, or fighting for justice is not worth losing ones sanity over. People will be who they are despite our best efforts. The best recourse is to keep your nose clean, avoid any interaction that can be misconstrued, and the minute you know you’re dealing with a freak of nature, open a bank account and call it the Court Fund because you’re going to need it to find good counsel when a victimizer starts playing the victim card.

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    • Thanks for sharing this. I’ll reply more thoughtfully soon. You’ve really been through it. And you seem to have emerged a Zen master of emotional intelligence!

      That’s the outrage that gnaws. It’s not just your being falsely accused, right? Crazy happens. It’s the eagerness of the courts, police, CPS, etc. to get in on the action.

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    • I’m so glad you’ve shared this. It’s remarkable the number of women who respond incredulously to the idea that a woman would abuse a restraining order. I think it’s a cultural thing. People whose perspectives on sexual politics were molded in the academy (and especially young women of this sort) have this unshakable gender allegiance (women = good; men = pigs). And these women are of course the most confidently assertive writers, speakers, and networkers. I’ve been away from college for 15 years and live and work around horse gals, most of whom would be the first to acknowledge a feminine tendency toward cattiness. Especially toward other women!

      The feminist propaganda machine has been so effective these last three decades that aversion to probing female motives has infected the bureaucratic system (police, courts, etc.) to the extent that a calculating woman can wreak havoc if she’s vicious enough (deranged helps, too) to sob a few cunning lies into the right ears: rubberstamp, rubberstamp, rubberstamp. A legacy of those gender sensitivity courses that judges, police officers, firemen, etc. have been required to take (which now seem quaint) is that acknowledging the truth of this is taboo. The system always overcorrects (there’s no one more zealous than a convert).

      Your being a woman, too, was definitely to your advantage. It’s sad to say, but had you been a man, the judge might not have shown the same attentiveness. (That your ruling was the single exception in 17 years probably corroborates this.) Two other women I’ve corresponded with in the last few months (one of them also victimized by a spiteful woman—through her husband) have fortunately been able to dodge the bullet, also. I’ve been contacted by men, though, who have been the targets of female terrorism (one was literally afraid to leave his house) whose pleas for an impartial audience by the police and courts have been completely disregarded. (It’s in no public official’s interest to put his career longevity on the line for a man, because—as the rhetoric goes—who can tell about them?) Some men (who owned homes and had good jobs) end up living on the street.

      I think a lot of restraining order petitioners fit this mold: “She described the events as only a practiced victim knows how: each detail twisted into a personal attack directed at her, her sleepless nights knowing I’m out there somewhere waiting to get her, and her inability to function as a result of my terrifying actions.” Rhetoric rules in these cases; facts are secondary and often ignored.

      Anyhow, I think you’re a marvel of emotional resilience. I’m guessing this nightmare cost your terrorist exactly bubkes (while you’ve had to consider taking out a mortgage or hocking your car!). You’re fighting the good fight. It horrifies me to think, though, of the violence that could be escalated by a scenario like this. The terrible irony of this flaw in the criminal justice system is that abusers can’t be stopped short of violence, because laws that should check their misconduct abet it instead. And if someone does lose it and goes vigilante, the system just nods and says, see, we were right all along. Case closed. NEXT!

      You’re awesome. There’s no chance of your having your attacker censured by the courts, but you could consider suing her for damages (even just in small claims), putting her on the defensive, and recovering some of the money you’re out. Her tune might change if she were on the receiving end of a summons. Best wishes to you.

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